By Busayo Onijala
Lagos, Dec. 31, 2020 The United Kingdom (UK) has pledged an extra £47 million aid to provide food, nutrition, water, and shelter for nine countries and regions including Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement by Gill Atkinson, the Acting High Commissioner of the British High Commission.
A breakdown of the provision shows that £7 million (3.7 billion naira) of the funding will be made available to Nigeria through the World Food Programme which is estimated to reach 430,000 Nigerians with unconditional food assistance and support for 108 days.
The aid is in addition to the £14 million provided for Yemen earlier in December and the £8 million provided for Nigeria in September 2020.
Atkinson said the aid was a demonstration of how dedicated the UK was to helping provide continued support to people in need.
“I’m pleased that the UK is making this additional commitment of a further £7m in humanitarian aid in Nigeria.
“It is imperative we prevent a further deterioration of food insecurity in northeast Nigeria and vital we work in partnership with the Nigerian government to mitigate further decline in the situation.
“We encourage other donors to do likewise and thanks as ever go to our United Nations and NGO partners who deliver life-saving UKAID on behalf of the well-wishes of the British people,” Atkinson said.
In September, at the launch of the new Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab announced an international Call to Action to tackle food insecurity.
Raab said hundreds of millions of people who lived in the world’s largest humanitarian crises were struggling to survive, threatened by conflict, starvation, and the coronavirus.
According to him, extra emergency UK aid will mean people can feed their families and prevent crises from escalating into widespread famine.
“We hope to see other donors step up to the plate with some extra funding to prevent these global crises getting worse,” he said.
Raab also appointed Nick Dyer as the UK Special Envoy on Humanitarian Affairs to drive the UK’s international Call to Action to tackle food insecurity and help deliver the vision of a Global Britain as a force for good around the world.
Dyer visited Nigeria in November to urge the government, the UN, and the international community to scale up collective action to mitigate the deteriorating food insecurity, and to address humanitarian access and protection of civilians concerns.
“The extra UK aid announced will help continue the momentum and encourage other donors to step up with additional financing,” the statement said.