IOM, others provide lifesaving intervention to crisis-prone areas in Benue 


CITIZENS COMPASS –The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in conjunction with the Benue State Government and USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), have launched the Rapid Response Fund project to provide a lifesaving multi sectoral intervention to the crisis-affected population in Benue State and across the country.

Insecurity, intercommunal conflicts and climate-induced disasters remain major drivers of displacement across Nigeria. An assessment by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Metrix (DTM) estimates that over Half a Million people are displaced and living in camps and camplike settings across 17 local government areas of Benue State alone.

According to Laurent De Boeck, IOM’s Chief of Mission to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, “The needs of those affected by this displacement are immense, and IOM recognizes that rapid delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable is critical to strengthening resilience and meeting the most basic needs of those displaced,”

The Rapid Response Fund will enable humanitarian actors, especially local organizations, to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to over 200,000 displaced persons along five key sectors, namely shelter and settlement, multi-purpose cash assistance, psychosocial support, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), and biometric registration.

“This intervention is crucial in addressing the escalating impacts of displacement, especially for vulnerable populations whose lives have been altered by the conflict,” said IOM’s Laurent De Boeck.

“We find it imperative to not only prioritize the well-being of the forcibly displaced population in Benue and Nigeria, but equally drive reconciliation, promote peace, and set the wheel for the recovery and rebuilding of communities and lives affected by conflict.”

Represented by the Deputy Governor, Barrister Samuel Ode, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Benue State, Reverend Father Alia Hyacinth, expressed the State Government’s readiness to provide the enabling environment for effective implementation of the project. He maintained that “the Rapid Response Fund is not just a project but a lifeline for many of the communities in the State”.

In addition to providing an all-encompassing and integrated strategy that aims to restore dignity and pave the way for the long-term recovery of people affected by conflict and climate shocks, the project will equally address urgent protection and gender-based violence issues and improve the hygiene conditions within camps.

“Providing life-saving humanitarian assistance and helping the world’s most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people become more resilient to humanitarian crises is a priority of the United States government”, said Patrick Robin, Senior Humanitarian Advisor with the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance Nigeria Office. “The U.S government, through the USAID/BHA is launching its first humanitarian response in the North Central region to respond to the needs of IDPs affected by years of intercommunal conflict, farmer-herder clashes and climatic shocks in Benue state. This is reflective of the U.S government’s commitment to helping the world’s most vulnerable.

The activation of the Rapid Response Fund for displaced people in Benue State is made possible with the funding from the USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. The USD 3.8 million allocation will support the state government’s efforts in responding to sudden emergencies by providing streamlined, flexible, effective, and need-based life-saving interventions that empower internally displaced persons to withstand the shock of displacement.


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