What are the needs?
Over 15 million people are food insecure, out of whom over 5.1 million are severely food insecure and in need of immediate food assistance. Severe acute malnutrition was already responsible for more than a third of all child deaths in Nigeria before the crisis, but rates of malnutrition in under five year old that are being reported by humanitarian organisations are well beyond the emergency threshold defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Therefore, an immediate scale up of emergency assistance to the affected population is required.
The re-taking of many towns and villages by Nigerian security forces in Borno and Yobe States has further highlighted the need for an increased emergency humanitarian response as access slightly improves. Massive needs have been identified in newly accessible areas and should be met quickly, taking account of the prevailing volatile situation. There are still whole areas beyond the reach of humanitarian organisations; where there is access, security constraints hamper the assessment of needs and the adequate provision of aid.
Nigeria also regularly experiences seasonal floods and epidemics such as cholera, polio and measles.
How are we helping?
Since 2014, the European Commission’s humanitarian office has allocated over €124 million for humanitarian assistance in Nigeria. Annual budgets have been increased several times throughout the year as needs evolve. For 2017, initial allocations amount to €27.5 million, with planned allocation of another €32 million from the Emergency Aid Reserve.
The focus is on providing immediate assistance to cover the basic needs of the large number of internally displaced people in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Emergency food assistance as well as non-food items are being provided. Health care, nutrition and the protection of displaced people and other victims of violence are also priorities.
However, due to the difficulties in access, especially in the northeast of the country, providing humanitarian assistance remains very challenging. The Commission advocates for an increased operational presence of international humanitarian organisations, full and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need and enhanced coordination among aid organisations.