By Bukar Bolori
The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing $1 million in immediate humanitarian assistance to support the people affected by unprecedented flooding in Nigeria.
The unusually heavy rainfall and resulting flooding has affected nearly 2.8 million people across Nigeria, and in addition, many homes have been damaged or completely destroyed, displacing millions of people.
The statement on Thursday by US Embassy in Nigeria, said the floods have exacerbated an already critical humanitarian situation in Nigeria, where ongoing conflict, especially in the northern region, has driven millions of people from their homes.
According to the statement, in the same region, more than 4 million people are projected to continue experiencing acute food insecurity amid the worsening global food crisis. “We are also concerned that standing floodwaters could increase the risk of cholera and other waterborne diseases in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states, where cholera outbreaks were declared in August and September and at least 7,750 cases were recorded. In 2022, 31 out of 36 states reported cholera cases.”
U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard. was quoted in the statement to have: “We are filled with grief for the flood victims who have lost so much – livelihoods, homes, and even loved ones,” adding that: “The United States continues to stand with the people of Nigeria during this extremely difficult time.”
According to the statement, the $1 million in new USAID support will allow local partners on the ground to provide emergency shelter assistance, relief commodities, and hygiene kits to promote safe and healthy practices amid the ongoing cholera outbreak, and multipurpose cash assistance for people impacted by the devastating floods.
As experts expect heavy rainfall and flooding to continue through November, due in part to climate change and insufficient drainage infrastructure, USAID disaster experts will continue monitoring the situation in close coordination with humanitarian partners and the Government of Nigeria to assess needs and determine if additional assistance is required.
The statement revealed that the United States maintains a long history of providing humanitarian assistance across the country. In 2022, USAID provided more than $356 million in humanitarian assistance to people most affected by conflict and food insecurity in Nigeria. This life-saving assistance is in addition to USAID’s annual $539 million development budget for Nigeria that supports economic growth, health, democratic governance, and education.