U.S. Humanitarian Assistance to Prevent Famine in Northeastern Nigeria

Malkohi Internally Displaced Person Camp in Yola, Nigeria - April 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The U.S. is deeply concerned about the famine in South Sudan, as well as the risk of famine in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. We are one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance for the people of these countries and will continue to work with other international donors to provide the life-saving aid needed to avert famine and help people in need.

Northeast Nigeria

  • 5 million people in need (71% of NE Population)
  • 46 million people targeted by USAID
  • 2017 Humanitarian Assistance Funding* USG $227 million, Other donors $262 million

Years of conflict have limited access to food, health care, safe drinking water, and other services in northeastern Nigeria, where populations face an increased risk of famine in mid-to-late 2017.

Additionally, armed violence – including attacks against civilians and relief workers – displaces populations and restricts humanitarian access to some locations.

With U.S. support, relief actors have been pre-positioning food and other resources, as well as scaling up humanitarian operations, to deliver assistance in advance of the May-October rainy reason.

 Key Developments

USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is responding to the complex emergency in the Lake Chad Basin region, including Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.

As of May 28, more than 42,000 people were sheltering in internally displaced person (IDP) sites in Nigeria’s Banki town, located in Borno State along the Cameroon–Nigeria border, according to the UN. In late May, the government of Borno State organized convoys to relocate approximately 3,700 individuals from Banki to Borno’s Pulka town, the UN reports. Recent population influxes to both Banki and Pulka are straining available resources—including shelter, water supply, and health care services—and contributing to increased humanitarian needs. Relief actors are providing rapid, multi-sector support to populations in Banki and Pulka, as well as advocating against additional relocations to Pulka until an appropriate level of basic service provision can be ensured for new arrivals.

On June 5, an attack targeting IDPs in Cameroon’s Mayo-Sava Department resulted in at least nine deaths and wounded approximately 30 people, international media report. The attack prompted a USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance partner conducting water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities in Mayo-Sava to increase security measures, although the organization continues to operate in the area.

From January–May, health actors in Niger’s Diffa Region recorded nearly 770 hepatitis E cases, including more than 30 associated deaths, according to the UN. To prevent the spread of hepatitis E, humanitarian agencies are bolstering WASH activities, educating communities on safe sanitation practices, and improving coordination among WASH actors and other stakeholders.