The Norwegian Government has reaffirmed its commitment to addressing the humanitarian crisis in northeastern Nigeria by providing an additional $4.5 million in funding to support the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in its efforts. The funding aims to build resilience and improve the livelihoods of populations affected by the ongoing crisis in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, and Taraba States, with a focus on upscaling food security and nutrition.
Fred Kafeero, the FAO Representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, highlighted the significance of Norway’s continued support, which has now reached a total of $24 million since the crisis began. He emphasized that the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been instrumental in rebuilding the lives of vulnerable communities affected by the decade-long conflict in Northeast Nigeria.
Kafeero pointed out that the FAO, as a key provider of livelihood support in the food security sector, aims to reach two million people in the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). However, only 56,000 individuals have been reached thus far. He further emphasized that funding trends indicate a significant gap in resources allocated to livelihood interventions, with only 3.4 out of 100 units of total funding directed towards this crucial aspect.
In light of this, the additional $4.5 million in funding from Norway for 2023 is seen as a vital contribution to fill the livelihoods funding gap during the lean season. Kafeero stressed the importance of this funding in improving food security in the Northeast, as the current gap remains substantial in meeting the livelihood assistance needs of 3.7 million people.
Ambassador Knut Eiliv Lein of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nigeria explained that the additional funding commitment of $4.5 million aims to support agriculture and assist individuals impacted by the conflict. He highlighted the three-year partnership between Norway and the FAO, which was renewed last year, and expressed their increased funding commitment to further strengthen the collaboration.
The continued support from the Norwegian Government will play a crucial role in addressing food security challenges and improving the livelihoods of affected communities in northeastern Nigeria, contributing to the overall resilience and well-being of the population.