In barely a month since the beginning of December, WFP has delivered food or cash to
more than a million Nigerians in conflict-affected zones in the Northeast. This means
that over half of those in need of urgent humanitarian assistance have now been reached.
The milestone came as WFP ramped up its response in Borno and Yobe States, where
as many as four million people are food insecure. The region has been devastated by
years of violence linked to the Boko Haram insurgency: in some areas, more than half of
all children under five suffer from acute malnutrition.
The needs are of course tremendous, and more has to be done. Even so, this is a dramatic
expansion from the 160,000 people we were able to assist as recently as October. It is
only thanks to the joint efforts of all humanitarian partners, including the Government
of Nigeria, that we have achieved such high numbers,rdquo; said Sory Ouane, WFP’s
Nigeria Country Director and Emergency Coordinator.
In areas with functioning markets, more than 170,000 people were assisted with cash.
Nearly 800,000 people � most of them internally displaced, in camps or in host
communities � benefited from food distributions; and almost 180,000 children under five
were given specialized nutritious food.
Under its new Rapid Response Mechanism, which includes extensive use of
helicopters and the pooling of logistics and telecommunications resources across the
humanitarian community, WFP has managed to reach areas that were previously
While it has been challenging to scale up and provide timely, life-saving food
assistance, we are now looking at ways to assist even more people in need � as many as
2.5 million by April 2017,rdquo; Ouane added.
WFP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions and needs a total of US$208 million
for its humanitarian response in Northeast Nigeria over the next six months, of which
US$143 million has yet to be found.
We have achieved a lot in the past months, and plan to do more, said Abdou
Dieng, WFP’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa. But an operation of this
scope and complexity requires sustained funding to maintain momentum.rdquo;
Source: World Food Programme (WFP).