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Nigeria: 2019-2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy (January 2019 - December 2021)

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I am honored to present the 2019-2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy, with a one-year response plan targeting 6.2 million of the most vulnerable people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states for humanitarian assistance. The financial appeal this year has reduced from $1.05 billion in 2018 to $848 million, based on assessed needs and the realistic capacity to implement.

Despite a significant scale-up of the humanitarian response by the United Nations and humanitarian partners since 2016, in support of the Government of Nigeria, the humanitarian crisis in the BAY states continues. Civilians still bear the brunt of a conflict that has led to widespread forced displacement and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. New and protracted displacement, triggered by the conflict, continues to affect access to basic services and disrupts the livelihoods of millions of people. Acute malnutrition among children under the age of five is above emergency thresholds in many parts of the BAY states.

In line with a strong commitment to principled humanitarian action, humanitarian partners will seek to address humanitarian needs wherever they may be located in the BAY states. Strong partnerships between national and international actors are critical to ensuring people receive the life-saving assistance they need. Capacity building for local partners and government counterparts will therefore be prioritized to strengthen national response mechanisms. We also remain accountable at all times to the people we serve, and we will be making a concerted effort throughout the year to continually engage with and listen to the communities.

Although the primary role of humanitarian aid is to help people survive and maintain their dignity, the humanitarian response integrates approaches where and when possible to reduce communities’ dependency on aid. This is especially true with regard to the response provided for returnees, host communities and the protracted displaced communities. For the next three years the humanitarian and development actors in the BAY states will work towards enhancing coherence and synergies between the development and humanitarian responses, so that they can work jointly with the Government of Nigeria to ensure the sustainable delivery of basic services to those in need, particularly those living in protracted displacement.

In 2018, donors funded the appeal very generously. The $1 billion appeal was 67 per cent funded, representing $700 million. Other large-scale crises outside Nigeria also require donor support, however it is essential to continue this positive momentum and build on the results achieved last year. Should we fail to meet our targets, it could undermine the progress made to date.

This 2019-2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy provides a way forward to tackle the challenges inherent in planning and responding to large-scale needs in a complex setting. The combined strength of our efforts must now unite to provide assistance to the most vulnerable, bolster national capacity and deliver a calibrated and efficient response. I look forward to working with everyone to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those who need it most and complements longer-term activities that enable the population to develop and prosper.

Edward Kallon
Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria


The insurgency in the North-East Nigeria has caused a widespread humanitarian crisis that has impacted negatively on the lives of millions of Nigerians, particularly women and children. A priority of the Buhari Administration has therefore been to combat and defeat the insurgents so as to secure the North East for the inhabitants to be able to live in safety and to restore normalcy to their lives. The efforts by the Nigerian Military have been quite successful and normalcy has been restored in most of the North East though, unfortunately, the insurgents are still able to carry out attacks, from time to time, particularly on soft targets. The military operations are therefore being intensified, working in collaboration with the neighbouring countries of the Lake Chad region.

In the meantime, and alongside these military operations, the Federal Government has been spearheading initiatives for bringing aid and assistance to the people and communities of the North East in order to address the humanitarian challenges caused by the insurgency. The latest of these initiatives is the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). The magnitude of the humanitarian needs of the region calls for a continuous review of our strategies to ensure we can offer rapid and effective solutions to the plight of the people of that region.

The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan is part of a threeyear strategy (2019 – 2021) evolved through a multistakeholder approach under the coordination of my Ministry in collaboration with our donors to address the needs and challenges of the affected population. The HRP was developed in close consultation with the Governments of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states and was presented for validation to the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on the North-East made up of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The HRP has been endorsed by the High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region (Oslo II), which took place in Berlin on 3 - 4 September, 2018. The Conference was co-hosted by Nigeria, Germany, Norway and the United Nations. During the event, stakeholders working on humanitarian assistance, crisis prevention, stabilization, and development came together to identify shared challenges and opportunities. An agreement was reached to continue collaborating through a multi-year approach towards addressing the needs and challenges of the Lake Chad Region in a sustainable manner. It is worthy of note that at Oslo II, the sum of USD$ 2.17 billion multi-year funding was pledged for the Lake Chad region; the largest share of which was allocated to Nigeria. It is important to state that this 2019-2021 multi-year Humanitarian Response Strategy is aligned to the Buhari Plan (whose implementation is being coordinated by the Presidential Committee on the NorthEast Initiative) and is in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

The data in the HRP suggests that the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the three most-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe will reduce from 7.7 million in 2018 to 7.1 million in 2019. Whilst this slight reduction in the numbers requiring assistance is evidence that our efforts are having some effect, the large numbers of persons still needing assistance means we have to work even harder to fully address the humanitarian challenges of the North East. It must be emphasized that this is important and urgent work and we must intensify our efforts in order to achieve the target of the Nigerian Government which is to bring back normalcy and prosperity to the North East.

On behalf of the Government of Nigeria, I wish to express my appreciation to the International Community, Donors/ Development Partners, especially the Office of the United Nations (UN) Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), for their continuing support to the efforts of the Nigerian Government to bring humanitarian assistance to the people of the North-East region of Nigeria.

Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, CON
Honorable Minister, Ministry of Budget and National Planning

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