UK Aid Saves Lives in North-East Nigeria

UK Aid Saves Lives in North-East Nigeria

James Cleverly in Abuja
James Cleverly in Abuja and Humanitarians

James Cleverly, the UK Foreign Secretary, has hailed the transformative impact of more than £38 million in humanitarian aid provided by the United Kingdom, which has been instrumental in saving the lives of vulnerable individuals, particularly women, and girls who have been deeply affected by the conflicts in North-East Nigeria.

Cleverly’s commendation came to the fore during his recent visit to Abuja, where he toured the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) facilities. During his insightful tour, he had the privilege to observe a UNHAS aircraft up close and engage in meaningful discussions with the dedicated staff, including a pilot.

The prevailing dire situation in North-East Nigeria has raised significant concern, with the United Nations estimating that a staggering 8 million people in this region are in urgent need of life-saving humanitarian assistance due to the protracted conflicts and crises that continue to afflict the Lake Chad Basin area.

Earlier this year, the United Nations launched a targeted humanitarian appeal, focusing on addressing the looming threat of famine and delivering critical aid during the ‘lean season’ spanning from June to August 2023. The gravity of the situation was underscored by the Nigerian Government’s recent declaration of a state of emergency pertaining to the pervasive food insecurity across the nation.

In a joint effort with the Nigerian government and its people, the United Kingdom has taken proactive measures to respond to these pressing appeals for assistance. Over the course of the past year, the UK has allocated a substantial sum exceeding £38 million in humanitarian aid specifically directed towards North-East Nigeria. This financial infusion has played a pivotal role in safeguarding the vulnerable population, bolstering their resilience in the face of ongoing adversities, and staving off the imminent threat of famine that looms over this region grappling with acute food shortages.

Cleverly’s visit to UNHAS, a prominent partner in the UK’s humanitarian endeavors in Nigeria, facilitated direct engagement with frontline aid workers and government representatives. This valuable interaction provided a firsthand understanding of how UK aid is being strategically harnessed to provide indispensable assistance to those most in need.

Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, the distinguished Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, accompanied Cleverly during his visit. This ministry plays a pivotal role in orchestrating the Federal Government’s comprehensive humanitarian response and coordinating the efforts of various stakeholders.

Matthias Schmale, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator extended heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the global humanitarian community for the generous contribution from the UK. Schmale accentuated the positive ripple effects of this aid, which offers a renewed lifeline to countless individuals, particularly the vulnerable women, and children who have been grappling with dire circumstances.

Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo echoed this sentiment of appreciation and underscored the critical need for escalated collaboration with the UK Government, emphasizing the paramount importance of enhanced coordination among ministries and partners to efficaciously tackle the pressing humanitarian crisis.

Cleverly concluded his visit by reaffirming the unwavering commitment of the United Kingdom to its humanitarian partnerships in North-East Nigeria. He applauded the tenacity displayed by the resilient population in the face of adversity and reiterated the UK’s resolute dedication to collaborating with the Nigerian Government and international partners to pave the way for the entire nation to flourish and fulfill its boundless potential.

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Written by Tumininu adeleye

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