Today, on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, the humanitarian community of northeastern Nigeria pays tribute to all humanitarian workers who step forward to respond to the crisis in the region every day by providing vital assistance to millions of women, children and men.
This year’s theme #ItTakesAVillage is based on the metaphor, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ At an event marking World Humanitarian Day today in Maiduguri, Mr. Matthias Schmale, United Nations (UN) Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Nigeria, said: “Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole community to help people in need.
; to provide urgent medical care, shelter, food, protection, transportation, security, water and much more.” He noted that the humanitarian ‘village’ in northeast Nigeria is proud to include volunteers and paid staff from civil society, national and international NGOs, the government, the United Nations and the people affected by the crisis themselves.
The vast majority of humanitarian workers in Nigeria, including those most at risk, are Nigerian.
“Despite the many challenges in this crisis, we should all be immensely proud of the impact humanitarian workers are having in north-east Nigeria.
Through our combined effort, our humanitarian ‘village’ provided assistance to five million people a year.
That assistance saved countless lives, improved living conditions and protected the most vulnerable,” said Mr. Schmale.
Some of this assistance continues to empower affected people as part of this village to help themselves.
World Humanitarian Day also advocates for the safety and security of humanitarian workers, who often work in volatile and unpredictable environments.
Since 2016, 35 aid workers have been killed in northeast Nigeria, according to the Aid Workers Security Database (AWSD).
Twenty-two have been injured and 28 kidnapped.
So far in 2022, six aid workers have been kidnapped and one killed in the region (AWSD).
Globally, in 2021, some 460 aid workers fell victim to 267 major attacks: 140 aid workers were killed, 203 seriously injured and 117 abducted.
This marks the highest number of deaths of aid workers on record since 2013, according to Humanitarian Outcomes.
The humanitarian crisis has continued unabated in northeast Nigeria, with 8.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance this year, according to the 2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview.
The deteriorating food security and nutrition situation is a one of the most worrying areas of this crisis.
For children in northeast Nigeria, the nutritional situation is becoming increasingly worrying.
Approximately 1.74 million children under the age of five are expected to be acutely malnourished in the Northeast in 2022.
levels since surveillance began in 2017.
After visiting a nutritional stabilization center in Damaturo and an MSF hospital in Maiduguri, Mr Schmale noted that “the increasing number of children admitted to these and other facilities is deeply concerning.
We cannot allow children to suffer and some die because they don’t have enough to eat.”
Mr. Schmale stressed that, “As we celebrate this day, we must remember that 4.1 million people in the Northeast are facing hunger, trying to cope with its dangerous repercussions.
We must put them, and all people affected by the crisis , at the center of World Humanitarian Day”.
The 4.1 million is a projection from the Cadre Harmonisé of March 2022 (a joint assessment of food security) of the number of people who will face food insecurity at critical levels in this lean season, without knowing when or from where.
your next meal will come.
Among them, it is estimated that 600,000 are at emergency levels.
For an already vulnerable population, this puts their very survival at risk.
To respond to these and other urgent needs, the humanitarian community in northeast Nigeria works together as a ‘village’, banding together to bring aid where it is needed most.
The UN and its partners aim to help 5.5 million people through the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan, and funding is urgently needed.
The plan requested $1.1 billion but is currently only 27 percent funded.