The United Nations, through the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund, has allocated $13.4 million to help thousands of children, women and men in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in crisis-hit north-east Nigeria.

In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, the National public information officer, UN office, Abuja, Abiodun Babies, said the humanitarian emergency in the northeastern Nigeria is one of the most severe in the world today, with 8.5 million people in need of life-saving aid in 2017 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

He said: “In line with commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit, five local responders are being supported through direct funding in this allocation. By empowering national partners, a more integrated and localized response will be possible, and their capacity will also be strengthened.

“Humanitarian needs in north-east Nigeria are still vast,” said Mr Edward Kallon, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria. “The United Nations and our partners, in support of the Government of Nigeria, are committed to assisting those in need, especially in pivotal areas such as protection and health.”

“In, the funds will be used to expand and improve sexual and reproductive health services for nearly 130,000 women and adolescent girls in areas of Borno, the epicentre of the crisis, and boost mental health services for vulnerable children, women and men. Gender-based violence will also be addressed by providing more accessible medical care. In light of the recent cholera outbreak and to mitigate the risk of faecal contamination and poor hygiene, funds have also been allocated to improve the availability of safe water and sanitation for 125,000 people.

“To date the NHF has received $41 million in contributions and pledges, thanks to the generous support of Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, Canada, Spain, Luxembourg, the Arab Gulf Program for Development, Malta, Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka,” he added.

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