Northeast Nigeria Response: Monthly Health Sector Bulletin #1, January 2019

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The fresh population movements and the high influx of IDPs are leading to camp overcrowding and congestion in some of the hosting sites such as Teachers Village in Maiduguri, whose capacity has been stretched from 5,000 to 32,000 people within one month. Health partners have expressed serious concerns on the situation of congested population in camps which may result an increased risk of outbreaks and other public health issues.

  • Reactive measles vaccination campaign was conducted in 6 LGAs (MMC, Jere, Bama, Konduga, Monguno, Mafa). Two hundred and forty-four (244) suspected measles cases were reported through EWARS in week 4. Of the reported cases, 93 were from Herwa Peace PHC and PUI mobile clinics in MMC, 31 were from INTERSOS Health Facility in Bama, 12 were from Dala clinic in Jere, 11 were from State Specialist Hospital in MMC, 8 were from GSSSS IDP camp clinic in Bama.

  • There are serious protection concerns, including genderbased violence, sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), abductions, and child recruitment which continue to be reported in displacement camps and sites. Reception/screening processes are compromising the safety and dignity of women, girls and the elderly.

  • Partners are facing challenges in terms of scaling up and reinforcement of the health services due to financial shortfalls. They are looking forward to donors support to implement activities under the 90 day response plan. Currently partners are using the carry over funds from 2018 and while some partners have diverted partial resources from their regular emergency operations.

Situation update

The deteriorating security situation affects freedom of movement of people and impact on people’s access to livelihood opportunities. Freedom of movement for staff especially for hard-to-reach teams is a big challenge as many areas are facing insecurity. The newly displaced population living in congested IDPs camps may face serious health consequences as they are more exposed to unstable living conditions. Malnutrition rates are high among the new arrivals. Due to cold weather during the night, children are more vulnerable to pneumonia and other illnesses.

Following the recent and alarming surge in insecurity in northern and eastern Borno State and parts of Yobe State, increased attacks on civilians and civilian assets since mid-December 2018, and the related spike in forced movements, the ISWG and humanitarian partners have compiled a 90-day emergency response plan to support the Government of Nigeria in addressing the critical humanitarian needs in the most affected areas. The plan aims to meet the immediate life-saving humanitarian needs of an estimated 280,000 newly displaced people in 16 priority Local Government Areas, most of whom are living in deplorable conditions and urgently require humanitarian assistance. The plan also targets new arrivals who have fled inaccessible areas and are in dire need of aid.

The 90-day plan responds to a set of critical humanitarian needs in seven sectors: Protection, Health, Food Security and Livelihood, Nutrition, WASH, Education, and Emergency Shelter and Camp Coordination & Management. The activities directly contribute to Strategic Objective 1 of the 2019-2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy: Save lives by providing timely and integrated multi-sector assistance and protection interventions to the most vulnerable. An estimated 280,000 people from the 16 priority LGAs will be targeted for humanitarian assistance. This incorporates 81,147 incoming and projected new arrivals between 11 January and 31 April 2019. An additional 25 per cent increase was factored into the calculation as a buffer for further mass movements, based on historical trends analysis. This focused approach – identifying the most critical and urgent needs for the next 90 days – is aimed at preventing the rapid deterioration of the condition of IDPs, in particular epidemics that are most likely to occur as a result of people living in the open air in unsanitary conditions and deplorable camp settings. Women and children constitute 87 per cent of newly displaced people. The trend in new displacements/new arrivals from November 2018 through January 2019 continually increased from 7,842 people in November 2018, to 19,854 people in December 2018 and a high of 44,111 people in January 2019. Borno State remains the epicentre of the crisis, with 14 LGAs that have received the highest number of new arrivals over the last three months. The financial requirement of the 90-day plan is $53.2 million, which represents six per cent of the $848 million appeal for 2019, under the 2019-2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy. Some $11.2 million is currently available, leaving an immediate funding gap of $42 million.

The 2019-2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy was launched on 29th January 2019, outlining the humanitarian needs and appeals for the coming year. The threeyear strategy includes an annual appeal for $848 million, targeting 6.2 million people in Borno, Admawa and Yobe states. The financial requirement of the 2019 appeal is 20 per cent less than the previous year. In 2018, to alleviate the suffering of 6.1 million people in dire need of lifesaving aid in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, the United Nations and partners appealed for $1.05 billion for 176 projects to be implemented by 60 humanitarian organisations. It is the sixth largest singlecountry appeal globally. As of the end of 2018, $699 million (67 per cent) of the funds have been received, according to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS).

The humanitarian community is continuing to prepare for upcoming elections in 2019. The Inter Sector Working Group is finalizing an election contingency plan to develop evidencebased scenarios for direct and indirect consequences of violence and displacement in identified hotspot locations in the northeast. The plan is underpinned by the humanitarian imperative to reach the most vulnerable people in need of lifesaving assistance, following analysis by the INGO Forum and the NorthEast Peace and Security Network.