By Lizzy Okoji
Abuja – Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning said on Thursday that the Federal Government and the six North-east States spent 6.4billion dollars on interventions in North-east between 2016 and 2017.
The minister made this known at the launching of the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for North-East Nigeria in Abuja.
The minister explained that the HRP being launched was also in line with President Muhammadu Buhari Plan and the United Nations Development Partnership Framework.
According to her, in 2016, 3.3 billion was spent on intervention, while in 2017 another 3.1 billion dollars was expended.
She said that a similar amount is being budgeted in the 2018 budget, which was still work in progress.
Ahmed said that Nigerian Government as part of her commitment, specifically, announced the sum of 1 billion dollars for security in 2018.
She said that the Nigerian Government would ensure that the 2018 HRP is supported and aligned with the humanitarian and development strategies as captured in the Nigerian Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Ahmed appreciated all international donors and humanitarian partners for their interventions in addressing the North East crises.
She also appealed for more resources to meet the immediate needs of the nearly 7.7 million people in dire need of humanitarian assistance in the area.
Ahmed pointed out that the focus of the Federal Government in 2018 is on quality response in the region towards reconstruction.
The minister promised that the Federal Government would continue to provide substantial resources to combat insecurity across the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 1.5 billion dollars is required by International agencies to meet the needs of 6.1 million people in the worst hit states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY).
Also, Mr Edward Kallon, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria said that the launch of the 2018 HRP demonstrates the commitment of the International Community to the people of Nigeria.
He said that it was also a clear and positive indication of the strong and continued partnership between the International humanitarian commit and the Government of Nigeria.
According to Kallon, the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s North East has spilled into the Lake Chad region, which is in its ninth year and was one of the most severe in the world today.
He said that the crises which was first and foremost a protection crises has evolved into a food security and nutrition crisis with 7.7 million people in dire need of humanitarian assistance in the worst hit states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY).
Kallon said that 6.1 million people are being targeted for humanitarian assistance in the 2018 HRP by 60 organisations including UN agencies, International and National Non-governmental Organisations.
He said that the assistance ranges from food, protection, water, shelter, sanitation, medicine, agricultural support, which would be delivered to vulnerable women, children and men across the three States.