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UN supports flood victims with $10.5m in Nigeria

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THE United Nations (UN) has supported flood victims across Nigeria with a donation of $10.5 million.

The money, according to the UN humanitarian coordinator for Nigeria, Mathias Schmale, was drawn from the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) and the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Schmale said $5 million of the funds had been allocated to provide water, sanitation, healthcare, shelter and non-food items to over 264,000 people in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states affected by both flooding, conflict, rising hunger and cholera outbreak.

He noted that the NHF funds, which will complement the $5.5 million CERF rapid response allocation for most affected states by flooding, would be used to provide clean water, sanitation, hygiene, emergency shelter and health care assistance for 495,000 people in Anambra, Bayelsa, Kogi and Niger states.

According to Schmale, more than 4.4 million people had been affected by flooding across Nigeria since July.

He noted that out of the 4.4 million, over 2.4 million people were displaced, with about half of them in Bayelsa, while more than 660 people were killed.

He said that the flood damaged over 650,000 hectares of farmland across the country.

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He stated that during his visits to Anambra, Adamawa and Bayelsa states, he met and spoke with people who were struggling to put food on the table and to get clean water to drink without shelter as they had lost all their possessions and livelihoods.

“What I saw in Bayelsa, which was essentially cut off from the rest of the country, with homes and fields underwater and some people still sleeping on boats, reminded me of the images coming out of Pakistan several weeks ago,” he said.

He raised concern that the massive destruction to food crops would have implications on food security in the immediate term.

He stressed that as flood waters recede, the most urgent priority was to help affected people get back to what is left of their homes and to regain lost assets and livelihoods.

“Farmers, for example, will require seeds and other agricultural support.

“As discussions at the Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Egypt draw to a close, the flooding in Nigeria is yet another reminder that climate change has a devastating impact on already poor and vulnerable people and will continue to determine their ability to survive unless urgent action is taken,” he said.

The CERF rapid response allocation for the flood response outside the BAY states is the second rapid response allocation this year.

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In May and September, CERF released $10 million and $15 million, respectively, to support the food insecurity and nutrition response in North-east Nigeria.

Also, in September, the NHF provided two allocations of $2.5 million and $1 million to enable humanitarian partners to provide urgent nutrition support in the North-East in line with the interagency $351 million multi-sector plan to address the desperate food and nutrition situation.

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