The crisis in Nigeria is marked by brutal violence against civilians causing acute humanitarian needs and displacement. In the north-east, the 13-year conflict has shattered lives, infrastructure, basic services, and social fabric.
Two million people are internally displaced across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. Approximately half of these are living within local communities, putting increasing pressure on scarce resources. Access to food is limited, particularly in Borno state where most families are already facing crisis levels of food insecurity. Civilians, including aid workers, continue to be the target of deadly attacks by non-state armed groups and transport corridors are persistently insecure.
In the north-west and north-central regions, violence and displacement are rooted in disputes over land and resources, which has been worsened by climate change. Criminality is on the rise.
Livelihood opportunities are scarce, and children face an uncertain future, unable to access quality education. Many families have either lost identity papers while fleeing or never obtained them, hindering their ability to access essential services.
10,098people benefited from our education programme
27,267people benefited from our food security programme
51,822people benefited from our shelter programme
133,694people benefited from our camp management programme
101,064people benefited from our ICLA programme
160,759people benefited from our WASH programme
Since 2015, NRC Nigeria has been working to help displacement affected communities meet their basic needs, improve their livelihoods, access essential services, and enhance their resilience to future shocks through our six core competencies: water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), shelter, education, information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA), livelihoods and food security (LFS), camp management, and protection.
NRC provides immediate assistance during the onset of emergencies through the rapid response mechanism (RRM). In 2021, NRC reached over 269,000 people with assistance.
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
A single document, such as a birth certificate for an ID, can determine the future of an entire family. Sadly, millions of displaced people in Nigeria do not have legal documents, blocking them from accessing essential services and their rights. Access to housing and land tenure remains a major challenge, and displacement sites often face the risk of eviction. NRC collaborates with the authorities to improve access to legal and civil documentation and provides counselling on legal issues including housing, land and property (HLP) rights for people affected by conflict. 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 host communities
- conduct awareness raising sessions for communities on their basic rights and responsibilities
- provide training and technical support to government agencies and community leaders on HLP rights and collaborative dispute resolution (CDR) strategies
NRC works to improve access to quality education for internally displaced people (IDPs), returnees, and host communities. Education activities are implemented in accordance with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control guidelines to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmission. This includes limiting class sizes, practicing social distancing, the wearing of facemasks by students and teachers and encouraging preventative hygiene practices. 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, the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), and pedagogy
- construct temporary learning centres in camps and existing government schools, and rehabilitate damaged classrooms
- build gender segregated latrines and water points in formal schools
- provide access to water and sanitation and gender segregated facilities in schools
Livelihoods and food security
While conflict remains the main driver of food insecurity and access to livelihoods, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit Nigeria’s economy hard, reducing peoples’ abilities to provide for their families and make ends meet. The already weak public infrastructure has limited capacity to cope with extreme climate change events and other natural disasters. Exchange rates, a rise in global food prices and food imports have negatively impacted access to and the availability and affordability of food.
In emergencies, NRC focuses on providing access to adequate and nutritious food through in-kind assistance or cash distributions.
NRC also focuses on building community resilience to shocks, in close collaboration with the government and other partners. Our LFS 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
- provide training on business selection, planning, and management and farming techniques to help farmers adapt to climate change
Shelter and settlements
NRC provides IDPs, returnees, and host communities with shelter and non-food items (NFIs). Our shelter teams:
- provide in-kind assistance for essential non-food items
- distribute emergency shelter kits
- provide cash assistance for rental subsidies and housing repair
- construct transitional shelters for displaced people in IDP hosting sites
- upgrade shelters for displaced people residing in existing homes
- rehabilitate permanent structures and provide training in carpentry and other skills required for future maintenance
- stockpile shelter/NFIs to respond to emergencies
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion
NRC implements WASH activities in coordination with the State Ministry of Water Resources, and humanitarian partners. Our WASH teams:
- prevent the spread of diseases, including Covid-19 and other waterborne and sanitation-related diseases such as cholera, by conducting awareness-raising sessions, 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 out-of-camp settings, ensuring that the water distributed is sufficiently chlorinated
- set up sanitation and water committees and provide training to communities on how to maintain their sanitation facilities
Protection from violence
In coordination with humanitarian partners and authorities, NRC manages 47 formal/informal settlements in Maiduguri and Jere, Borno State. In addition, NRC manages five urban displacement and out-of-camp (UDOC) centres to cater to the needs of displaced people living in host communities. Our CCCM teams:
- improve the delivery of assistance in informal camps by identifying the needs of communities and coordinating delivery of services with partners
- create camp committees to include residents in decision-making and establish mobile complaint feedback mechanisms
- lead awareness campaigns on Covid-19, the risk of fire outbreaks and how to prepare for floods, 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 so that families are able to respond to emergencies such as flooding, heavy winds and fire outbreaks, and identify any needs for improvement of site infrastructure
- improve camp conditions by providing waste disposal sites, drainage, water pumping, as well as cash-for-work activities
- provide specialised services to ensure the protection and safety of site residents, including case management, protection monitoring, case management and referrals
Rapid response mechanism (RRM)
NRC addresses the urgent needs of populations affected by sudden shocks such as displacement due to violence, flooding, fire outbreaks and epidemics. Informed by rapid assessments to identify needs, NRC distributes immediate relief assistance before regular humanitarian programming is able to take over. NRC provides emergency food, water, essential household items and emergency shelter items to affected households and acts as a key RRM responder in hard-to-reach areas. Assistance varies from in-kind immediate relief kits that can last up to six days, to multi-purpose cash assistance (MPCA), depending on if there is access to a functioning market, so that families can purchase food and essential items. Lastly, as RRM co-lead in the country, NRC maps the availability of services, ensuring the coordination of timely humanitarian assistance with partners.
Coordination and advocacy
In collaboration with other actors, and using evidence from our programming, NRC seeks to amplify the voices of those affected by crisis and hold duty bearers to account. NRC advocates for changes in laws, policies and practices that improve access communities in need, enable a principled response, and can enable sustainable solutions to displacement. NRC coordinates with partners to ensure that our activities are contributing to the Nigeria Humanitarian Response Plan, and actively participates in coordination structures at the state and national level. NRC is the co-lead of the WASH sector, the Protection sector, the Rapid Response Mechanism working group, and is co-lead of the HLP sub-working group.
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
- Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)
- UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)
- The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
- Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
- German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO)
- EU/Directorate-General for International Partnership (INTPA)
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (OCHA NHF)
- Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
- Education Cannot Wait (ECW)