3 Million children out of school in N/east Nigeria, UN response plan seeks $1billion for IDPs

Monday 30 January 2017

By James Bigila, Media Coordinator, Nigeria

Recently the Chief Executive of Save the Children Norway, Tove R. Wang, briefed the press on preparations for the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on the crisis in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region – a major international donor conference to be held in Oslo, Norway on 23rd and 24th February 2017.

She met with journalists in Abuja to brief them on the situation in north-east Nigeria where she visited Save the Children’s humanitarian programmes in Borno State. She provided feedback on her impressions of her visit and in particular how the crisis impacts on children missing out on education. In her briefing, she disclosed that the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria is seeking more than US$1 billion to address the needs of those in crisis. The United Nations estimates that around 450,000 children will suffer severe acute malnutriton with 300,000 in Borno alone.

The UN crisis response plan aims to reach around 7million people and there are 3 million children denied their right to education Nigeria is faced with an emergency rooted in opposition to western education. 80% of displaced children live in host communities and have little or no access to education. 3 million children are denied access to education and the best chance of a stable future where they can prosper, which is likely to further fuel a cycle of violence in the region.

Over 1,200 schools have been destroyed, while more than 500 teachers killed and 19,000 displaced. An already weak education system has collapsed and many schools remain closed. Targeted abductions and attacks on schools have left children and their parents in constant fear. An entire generation is at risk of losing their right to education. Speaking during the press briefing, the CEO for Save the Children Norway said, “For the situation in Nigeria, 10 million out of school living in areas affected by the crisis.

Nigeria has been deeply affected by the crisis as 3m children are out of school as a result of the crisis in North east, this is a huge gap and there is a large population of IDPs in North east. I saw some education activities is the camp, and also children’s eagerness to learn”, She said. According to her,Nigeria is faced with an emergency rooted in opposition to western education . “80% of displaced children live in host communities and have little or no access to education” 3milion children are denied access to education and the best chance of a stable future where they can prosper ,which is likely to further fuel a cycle of violence in the region,she noted.

Tove further added that an already weak education system has collapsed and many schools remain closed,as they have been demolished or lack the necessary teachers and learning materials. Save the children has been responding to the humanitarian crisis in the Northern region ,through intervention in the education sector.

Also speaking, the Country Director, Ben foot acknowledged the efforts of the government in tackiling the crisis and also providing the needed education interventions but he stressed that more funding needs to be directed at the children in Northeast Nigeria to reactivate schools so that they can return back to the classrooms to learn. The Country Director of Save the children Nigeria, Ben Foot said, “We are working to ensure schools are reactivated and also relief materials reach the right people. There will be proper disbursement of relief materials, so as to prevent leakage in the system and prevent diversion of fund”.

The CEO further said the administration and coordination of the IDP,s will be done by the different sector working groups. He said more commitment is needed on the part of the government in administering the working group.

The 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria is seeking more than US$1 billion to address the needs of those in crisis. The United Nations estimates that around 450,000 children will suffer severe acute malnutrition with 300,000 in Borno alone.

The UN crisis response plan aims to reach around 7million people and there are 3 million children denied their right to education CEO of Save the Children Norway, Tove R. Wang just returned from north-east Nigeria where she visited Save the Children’s humanitarian programmes in Borno State. She provided feedback on her impressions of her visit and in particular how the crisis impacts on children missing out on education.

Save the Children has been responding to the crisis in Borno State since 2014. Our life-saving programmes include a stabilization center for severely malnourished children. We are providing emergency food assistance to about 14,000 families. We have built latrines and water pumps, provided safe play spaces for children, and are helping foster parents to care for children who have been separated from their own parents.