North-East: US commits $9 million support to natural disaster victims

By Gift Habib

The United States government, through the US Agency for International Development, is providing $9 million in humanitarian assistance to bolster disaster response efforts in North-East Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement by the US embassy in Nigeria and made available to our correspondent on Wednesday.

Through the United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration, the funds will provide emergency shelter, water and sanitation, psychosocial support services, and cash to populations affected by floods from the ongoing rainy season across Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states.

In addition, the funds will provide critical life-saving assistance to populations affected by other natural disasters such as fire or climate-related shocks.

In 2022, Nigeria witnessed the worst flooding in more than a decade, which affected 4.4 million people, displaced over 2.4 million people, and killed over 600 people.

As the United States Mission to Nigeria announced in October and December 2022, the U.S. Government provided $6 million in life-saving aid to support the people affected by last year’s devastating floods.

The statement reads, “This included $1.75 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies in partnership with the Nigerian Red Cross Society; $2.5 million to the International Organization for Migration; and $1.75 million divided among Save the Children, FHI360, and Intersos.

“These agencies used the funds to reach more than 225,000 people in seven highly affected states with critical aid.

“The assistance included emergency shelter repair kits, water and sanitation purification tablets to protect against waterborne diseases, hygiene kits to promote safe and healthy practices, and multipurpose cash for families to purchase what they need to recover,” the statement said in part.

In its 2023 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, the Nigeria Meteorological Agency indicated that earlier than the normal onset of rainfall this year could put 4.2 million people at risk of flood-related impacts.

In light of this, the new $9 million U.S. Government assistance will bolster community preparedness and strengthen vulnerable people’s ability to cope with the impact of natural disasters.

The USAID Mission Director, Dr. Anne Patterson said, “The United States will continue to stand with the people of Nigeria to mitigate the effects of climate change and address the impacts of more frequent natural disasters. We have a long history of providing humanitarian assistance across the country.”

From 2021 to 2022 alone, the United States provided over $356 million in lifesaving, multi-sector assistance to people most affected by conflict and food insecurity.

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