Munakur having an interview with karu(old woman on the right) who is an IDP living in Bulabulin. She is also a beneficiary of NRC’S red rose NFI/food voucher card. 

Photo: NRC/Ingrid Prestetun
Read caption Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC

NRC in Nigeria

Violence and insecurity are forcing millions of Nigerians to flee their homes.


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2020.

Humanitarian overview

The crisis in north-east Nigeria is marked by acute humanitarian needs, brutal violence against civilians, and uprooting. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the needs, with 10.6 million people affected. The 12-year conflict has shattered lives, infrastructure, basic services, and social fabric. Across Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) states, 1.9 million people are internally displaced. Over half are living within local communities, putting pressure on scarce resources. In camps, the living conditions are substandard, with overcrowding, limited access to water and sanitation, inadequate shelter, and poor access to healthcare. All across BAY, livelihood opportunities are scarce, and generations of children face an uncertain future, unable to access quality education. Most displaced people either lost identity papers while fleeing or never obtained them. Displacement, violence, and economic shocks has plunged BAY into a serious food crisis in 2020. Civilians, including aid workers, continued to be the target of deadly attacks by non-state armed groups and transport corridors are persistently insecure.


People we helped in Nigeria in 2020

people benefited from our education programme
people benefited from our food security programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our camp management programme
people benefited from our ICLA programme
people benefited from our WASH programme

NRC’s operation

NRC has been working in north-east Nigeria since 2015. We work with livelihoods and food security, information, counselling and legal assistance, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, and camp/out-of-camp coordination and management. We also deploy emergency relief through the rapid response mechanism. People’s dignity and rights are key to our work and we strive to support durable solutions for conflict affected populations. In 2020, we assisted over 382,307 people. In 2021, we will expand our assistance to Plateau State, Nigeria.


NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

NRC collaborates with authorities to improve access to legal and civil documentation for people affected by conflict. NRC also provides information, counselling, and legal assistance for issues related to housing land and property (HLP), including support for collaborative dispute resolution (CDR) mechanisms. Our ICLA teams:

  • work closely with government agencies to issue legal and civil documentation, such as ID cards and birth certificates, to displaced people and those in host communities
  • assist with cash-for-rent, land access negotiations and the facilitation of tenancy agreements to ensure security of tenure
  • conduct awareness raising sessions on basic rights and responsibilities
  • provide training and technical support to government agencies and community leaders on HLP rights and CDR strategies

NRC EducationEducation

NRC continues to support education for displaced, returnee, and host community students. When Covid-19 mitigation measures led to a suspension of school services for six months, NRC supported the resumption of classes in multiple locations, including adopting procedures to respect social distancing. Our education teams:

  • provide support in formal and non-formal education settings for out-of-school children, including catch-up classes for ages 6-14 and youth education for ages 15-24
  • distribute education kits and hygiene kits for teachers and students
  • provide capacity building for teachers and school-based management committees on Covid-19 preventive measures, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), and pedagogy
  • construct temporary learning centres in camps and existing government schools, rehabilitate damaged classrooms
  • build gender segregated latrines and water points in formal schools


NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

NRC works on improving access to adequate and nutritious food as well as to reliable livelihood opportunities. Whilst delivering life-saving food security assistance, both in-kind and through cash distributions, NRC also focuses on building community resilience to shocks, in close collaboration with the government and other partners. Our teams:

  • support farmers by providing certified seeds, pesticides, herbicides, organic fertilisers, knapsack sprayers, gloves, masks, and rain boots to improve harvest yields
  • expand irrigation areas to increase farming in the dry season by constructing deep boreholes and tube wells with platforms, while also training local communities on how to maintain and repair these structures
  • train individuals in setting up sustainable income-generating activities
  • provide cash grants for small and micro businesses
  • provide training on business selection, planning, and management and improved farming techniques to help farmers adapt to climate change

NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

NRC provides vulnerable internally displaced, returnees, and host communities with shelter and non-food items (NFI) across BAY states. We respond with a range of shelter typologies, adapted to the displacement context of the households. Our shelter teams:

  • construct new shelters and repair emergency shelters
  • rehabilitate permanent structures and provide training in carpentry and other relevant skills for future maintenance
  • provide NFI packages to improve living conditions

NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion

We implement WASH activities in coordination with the State Ministry of Water Resources, and other WASH actors. We:

  • prevent the spread of diseases, including Covid-19 and other water and sanitation-related diseases like cholera, by deploying large awareness-raising efforts, both in camps and out-of-camps settings
  • support the adoption of positive hygiene practices by installing handwashing stations and distributing hygiene kits
  • construct, rehabilitate and maintain boreholes and sanitation structures for families living in camps and non-camp settings, ensuring that water distributed is sufficiently chlorinated
  • set up sanitation and water committees, training them on proper maintenance and use of latrines and water points so that they can play a key role in raising awareness among their community

NRC Camp managementCamp management

In coordination with humanitarian partners and authorities, we started CCCM activities in 38 informal displacement sites in Maiduguri and Jere (Borno State) in March 2020. In October 2020, we expanded our services to 12 underserved informal sites, and out-of-camp areas in Maiduguri. Our teams:

  • identify the needs of internally displaced people (IDPs) and the gaps in services and coordinate with service providers to improve the delivery of assistance in informal camps
  • create camp committees to include IDPs in decision-making and establish mobile complaint feedback mechanisms
  • lead continuous awareness campaigns on Covid-19, the risk of fire outbreak, and flood mitigation, with the support of NRC-trained community-based workers
  • implement strategies for physical distancing in group sessions and aid distributions
  • set up maintenance and safety committees for IDPs, equipping them to respond to emergencies like flooding, heavy winds and fire outbreaks, and identifying needs for improvement of site infrastructures
  • improve camp conditions by providing waste disposal sites, drainage, sand-filling, water pumping, and cash-for-work activities

Rapid response mechanism (RRM)

Through RRM, NRC addresses the urgent needs of populations affected by sudden shocks, such as displacement due to violence, flooding, fire outbreak, and epidemics. Following a multisector rapid assessment to identify needs, NRC distributes immediate relief assistance before regular humanitarian programming takes on the next steps. We provide emergency food, water, essential household items, and emergency shelter items to households affected by emergencies.  

Coordination and advocacy

We ensure that our activities are contributing to the Nigeria Humanitarian Response Plan, and we actively participate in coordination structures at state and national levels. We also leverage our active engagement with partners to advocate for the respect of vulnerable people’s rights and for duty bearers and other stakeholders to meet their obligations. We are the co-lead of the WASH sector and Rapid Response Mechanism working groups, while also acting as co-lead of the HLP sub-working group. We are also an active participant of all relevant sector groups, as well as the access working group, the humanitarian country team, and the operational humanitarian country team. We have also participated in the INGO collective effort, representing the INGO voice as a member of the Nigerian INGO Forum (NIF) steering committee. We have also developed evidence-based analysis and positions, working with partners to advocate for durable solutions and improved humanitarian space in north-east Nigeria

NRC Nigeria is grateful for the generous support from our donors:
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
  • Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
  • UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)
  • The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO)
  • EU/Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) 
  • United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (OCHA NHF)
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
  • Equinor
  • Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

About NRC in Nigeria

International staff
Areas of operation
Maiduguri (Country office), Yola (Adamawa State), Maiduguri, Jere, Monguno, Dikwa, Yola, Askira/Uba, Biu, Damasak, Mubi, Gwoza and Pulka.
Budget 2020
USD 22 million
National staff

NRC in Nigeria

Country Director

Eric Batonon


+234 70 1004 2157