I. Summary of the response
In 2017, the humanitarian response for north-east Nigeria underwent a major scale-up with several notable achievements. The UN and its humanitarian partners contributed to averting famine in the region, contained a cholera outbreak, enrolled hundreds of thousands of children in school, improved coordination at all levels, and reached overall more than 5 million people with life-saving assistance.
The estimated number of food insecure people dropped from 5.2 million during the lean season (June through September) to 2.6 million during the dry season (October through December). However, the nutrition and food security situation remains fragile as millions of women, children and men continue to depend on humanitarian assistance for their survival as of the end of 2017.
Priority life-saving assistance was provided in terms of food (through in-kind and cash-based interventions), nutrition support, safe water, shelter and non-food items (NFIs). By end of December 2017, food assistance had reached two in three food insecure targeted persons (3.3 million out of 5.1 million targeted). In addition, almost 9 in 10 children affected by severe acute malnutrition (SAM) had recovered thanks to the treatment provided by humanitarian partners. In terms of water, about 2.7 million people had access to safe water during the period, surpassing the target at 134 per cent1. Regarding emergency shelter, 31,312 kits were provided to conflict-affected families, achieving 73 per cent of the target. In addition, 82 per cent of the 89,990 households targeted for NFI kits were reached. Protection-related screenings, registrations and monitoring showed 116 per cent achievement out of a 375,000 person target, with 434,101 individuals reached.
To improve humanitarian targeting and tracking of needs, 817,200 individuals were biometrically registered, exceeding the annual target by 26 per cent. The Health sector reached 3.8 million people approximately with medical consultations in supported health facilities and through mobile outreach. In addition, 426 medical facilities were supported with medicine and equipment out of an initial target of 200. Finally, Education actors supported 1.4 million learners and teachers (87 per cent of the annual target) with equipment and supplies, classrooms and temporary learning spaces, and other critical interventions to ensure that an entire generation of children is not left behind.
However, the Early Recovery and Livelihoods sector – named Response and Recovery Planning in north-east Nigeria – struggled to kick-start rehabilitation efforts due principally to very low funding. With only 8 per cent of the needed funds received as of 31 December, only 11 per cent of the sector’s overall target could be met.
A central part of the humanitarian scale-up in the north-east was the establishment of critical humanitarian infrastructure, such as humanitarian hubs which were identified in 2016 by the humanitarian community in country as a key logistical enabler. As these hubs offer more secure accommodation, meeting space, offices and internet connectivity for aid workers, they proved instrumental in supporting effective last-mile aid delivery and enhancing local coordination. By end of December 2017, five hubs had been completed in Borno State, namely in Maiduguri, Gwoza, Bama, Ngala and Dikwa.
As part of the 2017 HRP priorities, the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) was launched during the Oslo humanitarian conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad region in February 2017. The NHF became operational in May 2017. Through two NHF standard allocations, a total of $24 million was disbursed to 22 humanitarian partners for 37 projects to support principled, prioritised life-saving assistance in north-east Nigeria, including hard-to-reach areas. By the end of 2017, just seven months after having been established, 16 donors had contributed $44 million to the NHF.
A Peer-to-Peer (P2P) support mission was carried out in June 2017. It was aimed at helping the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) strengthen the leadership and implementation of the humanitarian response, including prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) and Protection response for the north-east. An action plan was drawn following the recommendations of the P2P mission. The HCT is due to report on its progress by the first quarter of 2018.
While addressing the humanitarian needs as outlined in the 2017 HRP for the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, pressure from other parts of the country required that the HCT reconsider the scope of humanitarian interventions and potentially expand to the Middle Belt region and Cross River State. The Middle Belt is challenged by a conflict between herders and farmers that has displaced about 200,000 people to date. In Cross River State, Anglophone Cameroonian refugees have been steadily seeking asylum since October 2017.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.