N / East: UN launches billion dollar intervention, says peace is only solution to humanitarian crisis



By Ifeanyi Nwoko

Edward Kallon, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, said peace was the only solution to the humanitarian crisis ravaging northeast Nigeria.

Speaking at an online event and the launch of a 2021 $ 1 billion humanitarian response for the North East, Kallon said that over the years, as the needs have continued to increase, however, funding had declined.

He added that in his more than 30 years in the service of the United Nations, he had yet to see a humanitarian crisis resolved solely by a humanitarian response.

He stressed that although the United Nations system had all the funds it was looking for, to help those affected; only peace can really solve the challenges.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel and my plea has been quite clear: there are no humanitarian solutions to humanitarian problems.

“I have been clear in my advocacy at all levels that the only solution to the humanitarian problem in northeast Nigeria is peace.

“I called on stakeholders at all levels, including the highest levels, that we should prioritize prevention, development where possible, and humanitarian aid where necessary”, a- he declared.

Kallon said that since his involvement in the intervention in the Northeast from 2017, he had noticed that funding had continued to decline, as humanitarian needs had increased.

He said of the more than $ 700 million raised in 2017, the UN was only able to raise more than $ 50 million in 2020, as food needs increased by 2.8 million people in 2017. to 5.6 million people in 2020.

“This year we asked for another billion dollars, last year we asked for a billion dollars. What I have seen since taking part in this operation is a gradual decline in resources.

“I still remember the start of this operation in 2017, when Member States responded so generously and over $ 920 billion was made.

“In 2018 their contributions were over $ 80 billion, 2019 we saw that drop to $ 70 billion, in 2020 we got around $ 590 million.

“If you look at this trajectory, you see a steady decline in the financial response. What does not change is that the needs are increasing.

“Two years ago the food requirement was around 2.8 to 3 million people, this year we are talking about 5.6 million people. So we have two dynamics that we are facing today, as funding goes down dramatically, we see an increase in humanitarian needs.

“The only solution to these dynamics is peace, so that people can start to rebuild their lives and their livelihoods. That’s why I’m presenting the opportunities in front of us, to see how humanitarian and development can bring their benefits together to find a solution, ”he said.

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