Humanitarian - Development Nexus implementation in Nigeria

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) recognizes the complexity of the humanitarian situation in northeast Nigeria and pockets of instability in the South, Niger Delta and Benue State and development efforts and challenges in the country at large.

This paper is my vision as RC/HC for Nigeria to ensure effective coordination of humanitarian and development assistance in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria (GON), the UN, INGOs, private sector and civil society.

The crisis in northeast Nigeria is a protection and food security crisis, with an impending threat of a famine. Life-saving humanitarian assistance must be urgently scaled up. My immediate priority is to support the humanitarian community to scaleup life-saving and protection assistance, and work with the Government to ensure that assistance is principled, timely, effective and efficient, and contributes to the resilience of the displaced population and host communities.

An effective humanitarian and development response that contributes to durable solutions for displaced persons in northeast Nigeria will require the following:

  1. Humanitarian response capacities in northeast Nigeria needs to be improved significantly to ensure that the affected population that are currently accessible and those that will increasingly become accessible are provided effective protection and humanitarian assistance - especially vulnerable women and children if a famine is to be prevented. An estimated 21 million people are still not accessible.
  2. A critical element of scaling up humanitarian action and linking it to longerterm national services and structures will need to build and strengthen horizontal and vertical linkages between the Federal Government and the State and between the State and Local Government Areas (LGAs). This will ensure an effective humanitarian response capacity and will enable the national and international investment to support cohesive governmental structures that will enable the people of northeast Nigeria to become a viable and productive segment of Nigerian society.
  3. The international humanitarian community in Nigeria must “Deliver as One” through a system-wide, inter-agency and multi-sectoral approach in northeast Nigeria. To support implementation of this approach, I will establish a humanitarian pooled fund in 2017 to support “Delivery as One” through interagency multi-sectoral teams.
  4. The political, security, humanitarian and development aspects of the crisis must be addressed, if peace, durable solutions for the displaced, justice and sustainable development are to be achieved. Our medium term goal must be to ensure that the crisis in northeast Nigeria becomes an opportunity for delivering comprehensive services through sustainable national programmes. For this, we need to act from the outset to ensure that humanitarian action is integrated into and contribute to building the capacity of national systems.
  5. Significant local and international resources will be required to address the crisis in northeast Nigeria. The response architecture for emergency relief must adapt its tools and processes to the local context and work closely with the Government, Community –based Organizations and the private sector to mobilize these resources.
  6. The 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) will focus on life- saving assistance and resilience building activities in safe areas of return, while the UNDAF (2018 to 2022) under preparation will support the Government of Nigeria to implement the SDGs and put Nigeria’s long-term development objectives at the forefront and ensure that resilience and developments gains are realized preserved.

Photo by Peter Lundberg