While the world is celebrating World Humanitarian Day, Save the Children has called for a renewed effort by the government and other stakeholders in fostering a meaningful exchange on what the climate crisis means to people, its impact on Nigeria, especially in the Northeast and possible action that can be taken to reduce the impact on people who are already facing a humanitarian crisis.
“As we celebrate World Humanitarian Day, it is important to remember that the combination of climate change and conflict pushes people out of their homes, disrupts food production and supplies, amplifies diseases and malnutrition, and weakens healthcare services,” said Shannon Ward, Acting Country Director, Save the Children International Nigeria.
“Children have contributed the least to the climate crisis, and yet we know that they are paying the highest price. In addition, climate change increases risks of violent conflict by amplifying poverty and economic shocks while wreaking havoc across the world at a scale that people and humanitarian organizations on the frontline cannot manage.”
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimates that following climate-related disasters, the number of people in humanitarian need could double to over 200 million by 2050, and humanitarian funding needs could increase to US$20 billion annually by 2030.
“Climate change is real. We should be able to learn from other countries and strengthen our early warning system and disasters management mechanism in Nigeria,” Ward said.
“With the level of flooding we experienced in some parts of Nigeria, and the conflict in the North East, I feel we need to do more to prevent anything that could lead to people being displaced from their communities and source of livelihood; which will eventually push the humanitarian workers on the edge.”
She noted that Save the children is in solidarity with people affected by climate change and associated disasters.
“We lend our voice and support to #TheHumanRace – the race against the climate crisis, where no one should be left behind, including girls, boys, women and all those who are already facing humanitarian crises, especially in Northeast Nigeria.”
Save the Children with funding support from European Union is supporting the government of Yobe State to address the challenges of limited livelihood options and desertification caused by climate change in the state through training of the extension workers on environmental conservation and desertification control as well as on natural resources management.
“Our effort is also supporting household level participation in planting trees to combat desertification while we develop and see to the implementation of Community Natural Resource Action Plans aimed at minimizing resource conflict among communities and protecting vital resources.”
Save the Children was one of the first humanitarian organizations that responded to the humanitarian crisis in Northeast Nigeria, reaching over 1.2 million people since the start of our response. SCI is providing food assistance and protection services to more than 320,000 children and families on a regular basis.
“Finally, Save the Children extends its highest appreciation to its staff and all other humanitarian workers, who are exposed to various risks related to the armed conflict in the region, but are committed to giving their best to save lives, particularly children, girls and women, who are often vulnerable in a crisis situation,” Ward added.