As the world is celebrating World Humanitarian Day on Thursday, Aug. 19, Save the Children has called for actions by the government and other stakeholders in raising awareness on what the climate crisis means to people, and its impact on Nigeria, especially in the Northeast and possible activity that can be done to reduce the impact on people already facing humanitarian crises.
Shannon Ward, acting Country Director, Save the Children International Nigeria said climate change increases risks of conflict by amplifying poverty and economic shocks while inflicting havoc across the world at a level that people and humanitarian organisations on the frontline cannot manage.
“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 health-care services. Children have contributed the least to the climate crisis, yet they are paying the highest price,” Ward said in a statement issued to commemorate World Humanitarian Day.
According to her, 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, she said, adding, “We should be able to learn from other countries and strengthen our early warning system and disasters management mechanism in Nigeria.”
“With the level of flooding in some parts of Nigeria, and the conflict in the Northeast, more needs to be done to prevent people being displaced from their communities and source of livelihood; which will push the humanitarian workers on the edge,” Ward said.
“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 the European Union is supporting the government of Yobe State to address the challenges of limited livelihood options 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.
She further disclosed that Save the Children is 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 minimising 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 North-East 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,” Ward disclosed.
“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 give their best to save lives, particularly children, girls and women, who are often vulnerable in crisis situations.”
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