Aid Funds to Stop Famine in Nigeria’s Northeast May Dry up by June: United Nations
Aid organizations working to stop the famine in Nigeria will run out of money by June if donors do not give the cash they pledged at a conference in February, worsening an already difficult situation, a U.N. official said on Monday.
The famine in the northeast of the West African country is one of four hot spots, together with South Sudan, Yemen and Somalia, that constitute the worst humanitarian crisis the world has faced since 1945, the U.N. said in March.
In Nigeria, 4.7 million people, many of them displaced by the conflict with Islamist insurgency Boko Haram, need rations to survive. Of these, an estimated 43,800 people already experience famine, the U.N. said.Two months ago international donors pledged $457 million at a conference in Oslo to address the needs of Africa’s Lake Chad region — Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad — to go toward the $1.5 billion the U.N. says it needs this year.
For Nigeria, aid agencies working on the crisis have so far received only 19 percent of the money appealed for, according to Peter Lundberg, the U.N.’s deputy humanitarian coordinator for the country.
By comparison, aid agencies working on the crisis in Cameroon have received 23 percent of the money appealed for; those in Chad 4 percent and Niger 47 percent.
“At it stands right now we believe we are running out of money by June-July,” Lundberg said in an interview, adding that donors he had talked so far had cited bureaucratic reasons for the delay.