The Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) and appeal was launched yesterday, and I did not get my wish. In the launch of the 2018 GHO and appeal in December last year, I wished for fewer African countries appealing for humanitarian aid annually. In 2018 there were 21 countries appealing for aid and 13 of those countries were from Africa. For 2019, there are 21 countries appealing for humanitarian aid and 13 of the countries are in Africa. Nigeria, the potential economic giant of Africa, sadly is still one of the countries.
According to the launch `Yemen is once again the worst humanitarian crisis in the world while humanitarian needs will remain at exceptionally high levels in Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Sudan. Humanitarian needs have also worsened significantly in Afghanistan because of drought, political instability and an influx of returning refugees, and in Cameroon and the Central African Republic due to an upsurge of conflict and violence.’ Most humanitarian needs occur in long-lasting crises in which there has been limited progress in addressing root causes.
Nigeria’s presence on the list of African countries appealing for humanitarian aid annually is not just a tragedy for the country, but for the region as well. When I was posted to Nigeria in 2012 – 2015 to support the national funded and led flood response and the onset of the northeast crisis, Nigeria was providing humanitarian assistance to neighboring African countries. Nigeria’s presence on the list breaks my heart as it means that a blossoming regional resource for disaster response is being eroded.
As has been the case for decades and is increasingly so, Africa remains the face of humanitarian aid appeals globally, and humanitarian appeals remain the main narrative through which many African countries are featured in the global domain.