The UK has announced that it will spend £15 million of emergency humanitarian funding to provide vital food and nutrition assistance for vulnerable people in North-East Nigerian states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
The money will fund the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Food Programme (WFP) to deliver life-saving activities to respond to crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity and malnutrition for vulnerable people, including malnourished women and children.
This food assistance funding is part of the UK’s wider commitment to prioritise life-saving humanitarian aid to communities around the world who are most vulnerable due to the ongoing combination of crises.
Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson, said: “As conflict continues, 4.1 million people are facing a food crisis in North-East Nigeria. Through this emergency funding, the UK has allocated £15 million of humanitarian assistance to tackle food insecurity and malnutrition among the region’s most vulnerable people, including women and children.
“This life-saving aid will help stave off starvation and support people to become more resilient.”
The UK says it is proud to be supporting the work of delivery partners – the World Food Programme and UNICEF – whose “aid workers put themselves at great risk in order to reach those suffering most”.
It adds that the emergency funding supports its work alongside the Nigerian government to build security in the face of growing instability in the north of the country.
The UK has also announced further humanitarian funding to several West African countries in the Sahel region, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger. When combined with the £15 million funding allocated to North-East Nigeria, this humanitarian funding totals £37.65 million.
Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, said: “Millions of people across the Sahel and West Africa are unimaginably suffering with hunger and malnutrition.
“That’s why the UK will step up with an urgent £38 million of humanitarian funding, reaching those most vulnerable and saving lives across the region.
“The number of people facing starvation is at their worst for a decade. Whilst this UK funding is a necessity, it has to be part of a bigger international effort. We are calling on international partners to enhance our collective support and scale-up intervention to halt this humanitarian catastrophe.”