The Group of Seven intergovernmental organisation, popularly called the G7, has committed N148.062 billion (£276 million) to tackle deteriorating food security of millions of Nigerians occasioned by years of insurgency in the northeastern region of the country.
The action plan was brokered by the United Kingdom and is the first G7 action plan to help save millions of lives from famine and humanitarian crises.
In a statement on Monday by the British High Commission in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, said the UK on Wednesday coordinated a landmark commitment by G7 countries to tackle the root causes of famine and address the sharply rising numbers of people in need of lifesaving aid.
“This agreement commits G7 nations to urgently provide an initial £5 billion in humanitarian assistance to 42 countries one step from catastrophe or famine, with further funding to follow over the course of this year.
“The initial funding includes £1 billion in aid prioritised to the three countries at greatest risk –Yemen, South Sudan and Nigeria – to be provided as soon as possible to save lives.”
The G7 countries consist of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing noted that the G7 are also working together to find global solutions to global problems.
“I welcome the G7’s commitment of £276 million for North-East Nigeria. It is vital we act now to avert further deterioration in the food security situation of millions of people affected by the conflict,” Laing said in the statement.
“Just as the UK is working with Nigerian partners to find solutions to the crisis in the North East, the G7 are working together to find global solutions to global problems and protect those hardest hit by these challenges. Together we can shape a better future.”
The triple threat of conflict, Covid-19 and climate change has meant the risk of famine is now a devastating reality many countries face. Millions of people in Yemen, South Sudan and North-East Nigeria are already in crisis.
The crisis in northeastern Nigeria is more than a decade old. According to UN OCHA, there are 8.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance there. 1.9 million people have been displaced from their homes and one million people are in areas outside humanitarian access.
About 4.36 million people in the region are projected to be in crisis and emergency levels of food security this lean season which runs from June to August.
The UK says it is seriously concerned about the status of civilians living in inaccessible areas where over 800,000 are reaching critical levels of food insecurity and have extremely limited access to basic services such as healthcare.
“This is not only about money. It is also about diplomatic action, smarter financing and more effective responses to crises,” the statement read.
It continued: “As well as addressing critical funding gaps, the UK and G7 committed to act earlier to avert crises, including by strengthening data
and analysis to facilitate early action.”
By Abel Ejikeme