Displacement & MigrationHumanitarian CrisesNews

IOM Launches New Rapid Response Fund In North Central State

The expected target beneficiaries of this programme are “213,640 individuals or 42,728 households based on the needs identified during the program design, and it will be a six-month response,” said John Anisa, the project manager.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that nearly 400,000 displaced persons in Benue state, North-central Nigeria, live in about 26 camps and camp-like settings across 17 LGAs.

Years of inter-communal conflict and farmer-herder crisis associated with shrinking natural resources have left a trail of violence in its wake. Lives have been lost and thousands displaced.

To address this humanitarian crisis, the IOM, with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has launched the Rapid Response Fund (RRF) in the state.

RRF is a grant mechanism that provides quick humanitarian relief and assistance to communities during natural disasters and man-made conflicts. This fund will run for three months, supporting national and international NGOs working in crisis-affected areas.

IOM’s Nigeria chief of missions, Mr Laurent De Boeck, said, “This is timely, and the solution proposes a timely response. It’s a quick mechanism by which we can identify the needs of the population and deploy immediately a response based on preparedness, capacity building, and coordination.” 

The selected organisations will work closely with the IOM and local communities to provide relief assistance in shelter and settlements, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), protection, and multi-purpose cash assistance. 

RRF has already been implemented in the BAY states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe. Benue state will be the first in the North Central region to gain access to this fund in an expansion made countrywide.

“[This is USAID’s] first humanitarian response in the North Central region to respond to the needs of IDPs affected by intercommunal conflict, farmer-herder clashes and climatic shocks in Benue state,” said Patrick Robin, Senior Humanitarian Advisor, USAID.

Two children smiling in a busy outdoor refugee camp setting.
Ichwa camp, Benue state. Photo: Anthony Asemota/ HumAngle

As part of the RRF’s expansion, humanitarian response, information, and assessment have been added to the fund’s thematic areas, targeting the most vulnerable IDPs, especially women, children-headed households, and people living with disabilities in the affected communities, will be the beneficiaries.

On June 20, at the launch of the rapid response fund in Makurdi, Benue’s capital city, the IOM reiterated the fund’s importance in providing critical humanitarian relief to the state’s vulnerable IDPs. Five key areas were identified for relief provision in the state, including shelter and settlement, psychosocial support, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), multi-purpose cash assistance, and biometric registration.

According to John Anisa, the RRF project manager, the expected target beneficiaries of this program are “213,640 individuals or 42,728 households based on the needs identified during the program design, and it will be a 6-month response.” 

This extension is necessary due to the magnitude of humanitarian assistance needed in the state, Mr Anisa said. The fund will run from April to October 2024.

At the launch, Samuel Ode, Benue’s deputy governor, assured that the state government is working to restore peace. “In response to the urgent need for decent settlements for displaced populations, the government is developing a comprehensive and sustainable solution plan,” he said.  

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Anthony Asemota is the Multimedia Editor at HumAngle. He directs and produces video and audio content ranging from documentaries to explainers, motion graphics, designs, and podcasts. He has produced over 2,000 multimedia content in the last four years. He is interested in blending the use of AI with video production and pioneering a new style of video and audio production.

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