US agency release $13 million for Boko Haram victims in North East

Boko Haram, US Agency in Nigeria, North East Nigeria

United Nations humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien has released $13 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide life-saving assistance to 250,000 people in areas of north-east Nigeria that have just become accessible, bringing the total CERF support to more than $70 million.

Some $27 million was already allocated in March 2015 to assist more than 1.6 million internally displaced people, refugees, returnees, and host communities in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. An additional $31 million was provided in early 2016 to help 700,000 people in the Lake Chad Basin. 

The destruction of crops and looting of livestock have left many unable to support their families. More than 50,000 people are in need of seeds and tools for the upcoming planting season and CERF funding will help them to rebuild their livelihoods by providing food, including the all important child nutritional supplements.

Not only that, a significant number of women and girls, as well as men and boys, have suffered or witnessed terrible abuses due to the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and CERF funds will enable humanitarian partners to provide critical psychosocial support and protection and health services. And all of the above will be achieved through disbursements to FAO, UNDSS, UNFPA, UNHAS, UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP.

In a statement made available to the press, O’Brien stresses that the international community must take advantage of the better access to vulnerable people to reach them with essential services and build on the CERF allocation to scale up the response.

 “The humanitarian crisis in North-East Nigeria is massive and alarming: 15 million people are affected by the violence instigated by Boko Haram including 7 million people who need urgent humanitarian assistance,” said Munir Safieldin, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator. “Unless we scale up now, 7 to 8 children will die of severe acute malnutrition every hour; 184 children will die every day. We need resources now to scale up our current response”.

The Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria was revised upwards by $51 million in June and is now calling for $279 million. To date, it is only 22 per cent funded.

CERF is a pooled fund that supports rapid humanitarian response. Donors preposition funds with CERF so that money is available immediately to kick-start relief operations in new emergencies and to provide live-saving assistance in crises that are underfunded. At mid-year, donors have contributed $248 million to CERF for 2016 and CERF has allocated nearly the same amount, responding to high demand from humanitarian partners.

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