The Christian Aid UK in Nigeria, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has raised an alarm that an estimated 8.4 million women, men and children need humanitarian assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
The group’s Country Director, Mr Temitope Fashola, disclosed this at a news conference to mark the 2022 World Humanitarian Day in Abuja.
Speaking at this year celebration themed: The Human Race; It Takes a Village”, Fashola said the conflict in North-East Nigeria has generated an alarming and large-scale humanitarian and protection crises, that show no sign of abating.
He said the group had been delivering humanitarian assistance to conflict and crisis-affected people across nine states of Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Borno, Delta, Gombe, Kaduna, Kogi and Plateau.
The country director noted that the organisation with its humanitarian response team of 60 staff and 38 volunteers, had been working in different locations to respond to the needs caused by floods, violent clashes and insurgency.
He said that communities of intervention include: Biu, Bayo, Hawul, Mafa and Kwayo Kusar Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Borno, as well as in Michika and Madaggali LGAs in Adamawa.
“In 2022 alone, an estimated 8.4 million women, men and children are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states, with over 2.2 million displaced people.
“According to the March 2022 Cadre Harmonise, there are 4.1 million people at risk of hunger this lean season, normally lasting from June to September.
“Among them is an estimated 587.955 people, who are projected to be at emergency levels (phase4). This crisis is happening to a population that is already highly vulnerable, as millions of people have been pushed into survival mode.
“Malnutrition is increasing and threatening the survival of more than a million highly vulnerable children, approximately 1.74 million children under five, are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition across the north-east in 2022.
“Of these, over 300,000 are expected to suffer from sever acute malnutrition and are at high risk of death, if they do not receive urgent treatment,’’ he warned.
Fashola further noted that about 80 per cent of people in need of humanitarian assistance across the North-East states are women and children.
He explained that the development disproportionally affect women and girls, as they face increased risk of violence, such as abduction, rape and domestic abuse.
According to him, humanitarians in the region work in extremely challenging circumstances, often risking their lives and safety to reach people in need.
He said the security environment is volatile and unpredictable and includes threats to both humanitarian assets and personnel.
Fashola further noted that findings by the Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD),since 2015, had shown that 35 aid workers had been killed in the North-East, 22 wounded and 28 kidnapped, adding that so far, in 2022, six aid workers had been kidnapped.
He said the group therefore joined the rest of the world to honour and applaud the thousands of volunteers and professionals.
Fashola added that these persons risked their lives daily to deliver urgent healthcare, shelter, food, protection, water and much more, to crisis-affected and hard –to-reach communities.
“Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole community to help people in need; in an emergency, the first people to respond are always crisis-affected people themselves.
“The world may feel fractured right now, but this humanitarian action is evidence that unity and solidarity are still alive and strong, as individuals, our impact is limited, but together, we have tremendous power,’’ he stated.
Fashola encouraged states to invest their own resources in assisting and protecting their citizens in disasters.
According to him, Christian Aid will continue to advocate for governments in Nigeria at all levels, along with the private sector, to mobilise necessary resources to reach vulnerable populations.
He said the group has over 3,000 households benefitting from the ongoing humanitarian responses that cut across food distribution and nutrition, cash distribution, education in emergency, protection, agriculture and WASH.
Fashola said it also has 1,639 households participating in 20 different Income-Generating Activities (IGAs) such as food, processing, tailoring, making of caps, shoes, bags and other wears, bricklaying, production of briquette and energy-efficient stoves.
He said that these interventions were being implemented with a view to meeting the immediate needs of the people, boosting economic growth, creating jobs and improving the overall livelihood.