Christian Aid warns millions face dire hunger in Nigeria without action at Berlin donor conference
Christian Aid has warned that nearly four million people in Nigeria will face critical food shortages this year if no action is taken at a key donor conference in Berlin today (Sept 4th).
Armed conflict in North East Nigeria has entered its ninth year and only half of the funding needed to support the humanitarian needs of people living in the region has been met. Over half a million children already suffer from malnutrition, most of them in northeast Nigeria, with no sign of that rate decreasing. NGOs are also voicing increasing concern over the marked increase in forcible internal displacement of returnees from surrounding countries within Nigeria, with the involvement of armed groups.
Last year showed that famine could be averted in Nigeria, in part thanks to the success of the 2017 donor conference in Oslo which generated funds to tackle extreme hunger. However, food security remains extremely fragile across Nigeria, Chad, Niger and the Central African Republic, exacerbated by peaks in conflict and cycles of disease outbreaks such as cholera and Hepatitis E.
Christian Aid’s Nigeria Director, Charles Usie, said ”At last year’s Oslo conference I called for more direct support to local NGOs who have access to some of the most desperate people. This week’s conference in Berlin needs to tackle the need for greater efforts to facilitate access, through frontline responders, to the hundreds of thousands of people in NE Nigeria who are hard to reach.”
Jane Backhurst, Christian Aid’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, said: “Humanitarian access needs to be strengthened, alongside renewed efforts by government armed forces to support the impartiality of humanitarian aid and the safety of civilians and humanitarian workers. With 2.8 million people displaced across Nigeria and the rest of the area, we call on the Nigerian government to bring internally displaced people into the humanitarian decision making process. They need to be given protection that supports their choices, in line with the global GP20 Plan of Action.”
Christian Aid welcomes the prayers and donations of supporters which help partner organisations provide essential food, shelter, water and sanitation in Borno, Yobe and Adamawe states in North East Nigeria.
Christian Aid has launched an appeal to help people in North East Nigeria at https://www.christianaid.org.uk/emergencies/nigeria-crisis-appeal
For more information about the NGOs 10 point plan to help the Lake Chad Basic communities see https://reliefweb.int/report/nigeria/supporting-lake-chad-basin-communities-path-towards-peace-and-sustainable-0