As a result of the worsening climate change in 2022, Nigeria witnessed the worst flooding in more than a decade, which affected 4.4 million people, displaced over 2.4 million people, and killed over 600 people. The Nigeria Meteorological Agency, in its 2023 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, indicated that earlier than normal onset of rainfall this year could put 4.2 million people at risk of flood-related impacts. It is in the light of this that the United States government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing US$9 million in humanitarian assistance to bolster disaster response efforts in Northeast, Nigeria.
The US government’s assistance would bolster community preparedness and strengthen vulnerable people’s ability to cope with the impact of natural disasters. USAID Mission Director, Dr. Anne Patterson, said through the United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration, the funds would provide emergency shelter, water and sanitation, psychosocial support services, and cash to populations affected by floods from the ongoing rainy season across Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states. She disclosed that the funds would provide critical life-saving assistance to populations affected by other natural disasters such as fire or climate-related shocks.
As the United States Mission to Nigeria announced in October and December 2022, the US Government provided $6 million in life-saving aid to support the people affected by last year’s devastating floods. This included $1.75 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies in partnership with the Nigerian Red Cross Society; $2.5 million to the International Organisation for Migration; and $1.75 million divided among Save the Children, FHI360, and Intersos. These agencies used the funds to reach more than 225,000 people in seven highly-affected states with critical aid.
The assistance included emergency shelter repair kits, water and sanitation purification tablets to protect against water borne diseases, hygiene kits to promote safe and healthy practices, and multipurpose cash for families to purchase what they need to recover. “The United States will continue to stand with the people of Nigeria to mitigate the effects of climate change and address the impacts of more frequent natural disasters. We have a long history of providing humanitarian assistance across the country”, Patterson said. From 2021 to 2022 alone, the United States provided over $356 million in lifesaving and multi-sector assistance to the people, mostly affected by conflict and food insecurity.