12 Donor Countries,Agencies Meet To Address Complex Challenges In Northeast
Representatives of 12 donor countries and agencies have converged and completed a three-day mission to Borno State, northeast Nigeria, hosted by the UN Organisation for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The mission took place in advance of the first Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region,
to be co-hosted by Norway, Nigeria, Germany, and the UN in Oslo, Norway, on 23-24 February 2017.
The objective of the mission was to increase understanding of the complex challenges through engagement with
officials and IDPs and to take time to listen to the people whose lives have been devastated by Boko Haram
In this statement members of the donor delegation summarise their impressions, as an input to the
Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region.
During the three-day mission, the delegation visited several IDP sites and host communities in Maiduguri and
in recently accessible Local Government Areas, including Bama and Gwoza. Meetings were held with key
stakeholders, comprising the Governor of Borno State, the Theatre Commander of the Nigerian Army,
religious leaders, civil society representatives, UN staff and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The team welcomed the opportunity to engage freely in open and constructive dialogue with all parties.
The delegation observed that coordination within the humanitarian community has improved significantly
over recent months.
This is clearly demonstrated through a scale-up in the humanitarian response, most notably in the increase of food assistance to reach over 1.13 million people in January 2017.
This is a significant step forward in meeting the food and nutrition needs of 5.1 million food-insecure people, as identified in the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2017.
There are however huge levels of food needs yet to be covered.While access continues to increase as a result of the military campaign, the humanitarian crisis in north east Nigeria has not yet ‘turned the corner’.
The delivery of food and all basic services must expand until all IDPs are able to move freely to their homes, and pressure on host communities is reduced. This may take a long time given the scale and severity of this crisis.
The international community has a role in supporting voluntary and sustainable returns. The overall situation remains fluid as access to previously stranded areas creates new humanitarian challenges.
The humanitarian effort continues to demand flexibility when responding to changes in the environment. The rapid response that saved many lives following the incident in Rann is fully acknowledged.
The delegation focussed on the three themes of the Oslo Humanitarian Conference:
1. Food Security and Nutrition
2. Protection and Access
The food security and nutrition situation, as noted above, has improved over the past few months. The
number of people currently receiving food assistance has increased tenfold since October 2016.
The Food Security Sector’s initiative will continue to be a key component of the scale-up. It was also reported that the
improvement in food assistance has reduced sale of sex for food. The vulnerability of women remains a grave
concern and efforts to improve protection must be scaled-up.
However, despite this impressive improvement in delivering assistance, the situation remains alarming with several million conflict-affected people with acute food and nutrition needs left unattended. There are major challenges ahead.
The situation in the north east is also a protection crisis. Continuing insecurity means that many people are
unable to access humanitarian assistance, leaving them in desperate need of food, clean water, basic services
and protection. Civilians continue to face threats of death, abduction, violence, gender-based violence, and
looting. Positive developments regarding protection must be noted, including the strengthening of
psychosocial support for victims of gender-based violence (GBV).
. Programmes have been designed in close consultation with government that address the key challenges. The delegation is confident that additional funding will be used and reported on properly, consistent with the norms of the humanitarian best practice.
The delegation, through this statement, urges all stakeholders to continue and expand efforts to address this
Further funding is required immediately as outlined in the United Nations appeal. The delegation acknowledge the role played by the Government of Nigeria to date, the leadership of Governor Shettima and the selfless efforts of all humanitarian workers who operate in a difficult and risky environment.
The delegation also acknowledges the unprecedented levels of support from the Nigerian private sector. Continued support from these generous sources is essential. Finally, we acknowledge the resilience of the survivors of this conflict who must now rebuild their lives in the hope of a better future.
The participants in this mission, representing 12 donor countries and agencies, are listed below.
– Seán Hoy, Ambassador, Embassy of Ireland
– Noh Kuy-duk, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
– Song Young-Min, Counsellor/Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
– Vibeke Grundtvig Søegaard, Counsellor, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Norway
– Robert Keller, Deputy Head of Mission Political and Economic Affairs, Embassy of Sweden
– Pauline Torehall, Minister Counsellor, Head of Politics, Press and Information Section, Delegation of
the European Union to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS
– Yassine Gaba, Head of Office, European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection
– Manuel Mutrux, First Secretary for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, Embassy of
Switzerland for Nigeria, Chad, Niger and ECOWAS
– Hendrikus Johannes Putker, First Secretary, North East Nigeria, Regional cooperation and ECOWAS,
Embassy of Netherlands
– Gaku Sato, First Secretary, Economic Development and Cooperation, Embassy of Japan
– Friedrich Birgelen, First Secretary, Refugees, Migration, Humanitarian Assistance, Embassy of the
Federal Republic of Germany
– Helois Ellen, Cooperation Attaché, Embassy of France
– Nick Cox, Disaster Assistance Response Team Leader, United States Agency for International
Development, Embassy of United States of America
– Kabura Zakama, Regional Coordinator for the North-East, Department for International
Development, British High Commission
– Yoon SANGCHUL, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
– CHO HEE YOUNG, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
– CHO Young Sook Song JINSUNG, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
– Park Suk Hyun, Country Director of KOICA, Embassy of the Republic of Korea