he United Kingdom has increased its humanitarian support and will be providing up to £32 million over the next three years to help deliver basic, life-saving assistance and protection to some of the estimated seven million people in need of humanitarian assistance due to insurgency in the North-East.
The funds will be channeled through the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations, and will be used to provide support for critical life-saving areas including nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, and protection of civilians affected by the conflict.
Technical expertise will also be made available to the Government of Nigeria to support the humanitarian response.
Following the announcement, the UK Minister for International Development, Nick Hurd, said in Abuja that the UK is committed to helping Nigeria to provide humanitarian assistance and protection for people affected by the conflict in northeastern region.
“We welcome Nigeria’s efforts to support the affected population,” Hurd said.
“We look forward to continuing to work with all partners to strengthen the humanitarian effort to reach the most vulnerable, many of whom are in areas that are difficult to access.”
Hurd also noted that the humanitarian needs in the North-East were enormous and growing, saying that a sustained, large-scale government-led response is needed to meet people’s basic needs and to help them to rebuild their lives once security conditions allow them to return to their places of origin.
This new funding is in addition to more than £8.2 million provided by the UK since 2014 to help respond to the life-saving humanitarian needs of people affected by the conflict though violence, displacement, and loss of livelihoods.
In addition, the UK minister announced an increase of £16.7 million pounds the UK is giving to Nigeria’s growing solar energy market.
According to a statement issued on Friday by a spokesman to the British High Commission in Nigeria, Joe Abuku, the additional funding is in support of a UK-sponsored “Solar Nigeria Programme” that was approved in September 2013 with a budget of £37.1 million pounds.
The statement said, “The programme has already supported access to household energy for more than 130,000 people since it was launched in 2014. It has also supported improved healthcare and education for about 185,000 people in Lagos, and earlier this week it won the award for ‘Outstanding international development project – infrastructure’ at the 2016 British Expertise International Awards.
“The purpose of this project is to strengthen the market for solar photovoltics generated in Nigeria, and in doing so improve the lives of poor Nigerians and reduce carbon emissions. it achieves this purpose by targeting three inter-related sets of challenges. The first is very low levels of household energy access, the second is climate change, and the third is poor outcomes in health and education, in particular in the north of the country, due to poor access to energy. Better outcomes can be achieved in each area through scaling of markets for solar PV.”