G7 commits $382 million to remedy food security in northeast Nigeria

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(Ecofin Agency) - The G7 group, an inter-governmental political forum including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, is committing $382 million to tackle the increasing food crisis and famine in the Northeast region of Nigeria.

This was disclosed on Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Abuja during a meeting held by Catriona Laing- the British High Commissioner to Nigeria- alongside stakeholders and the federal government to launch the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact.

“We are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in the North East where 8.7 million people need assistance, and 1.9 million people have been displaced because of the conflict, with another 300,000 having fled to neighboring countries,” said Catriona Laing. “The G7 has agreed to urgently provide an initial $7 billion in humanitarian assistance. This includes $382 million desperately needed in Nigeria’s North East,” she added.

According to a report by the United Nations, “One year after the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook for 2021 and beyond is grim. Conflict, pandemic-related restrictions fuelling economic hardship and the persistent threat of adverse weather conditions will likely continue driving food crises.” 

The G7 group’s Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crisis Compact reported that 237 million people will be needing humanitarian assistance this year. Countries that are at immediate risk of famine - South Sudan, north-east Nigeria, and Yemen will be priorities. However, countries such as Tigray in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and the Central Sahel, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Syria are also a point of focus.

In this light, the G7, in addressing the financing gap, aims to provide an initial $.1.5 billion of humanitarian and related resilience-strengthening support to the three countries at risk of famine -$382 million to Nigeria, $341 million to South Sudan, and $800 million to Yemen. All three financings will be disbursed as soon as possible.

Closing the financing gab to tackle food insecurity is one aspect to be fixed. In this regard, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, stated: “Conflict and hunger are mutually reinforcing. We need to tackle hunger and conflict together to solve either…We must do everything we can to end this vicious cycle.”

Solange Che