What are the needs?
Since 2009, Nigeria has faced the insurgency of the militant group Boko Haram in the North-East of the country. There are regular clashes with the army and self-defence groups. On-going violence has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and prompted a massive exodus. Since a state of emergency was declared in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states in 2013, massacres, suicide bombings and mass abductions have become daily threats across the region. 2.3 million Nigerians have been forcibly displaced within the country. While some displaced families have found shelter with relatives, hundreds of thousands of people live in precarious conditions in informal settlements, schools, courtyards and open fields in and around towns where they mostly rely on the charity of local communities. Immediate assistance is needed to cover the basic needs of the large number of internally displaced people.
Few international agencies and organisations are present in the far north. The violence has disrupted local markets and agricultural production, with consequences beyond Nigeria’s borders. Known as the 'food basket' of the Sahel, the impact on regional food markets is of particular concern. In Borno and Yobe, food insecurity has reached crisis levels. In eight northern states alone, an estimated 612 800 children are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2016 and 5.2 million people are food insecure.
The country is also regularly affected by seasonal floods and epidemics such as cholera, polio and measles.
How are we helping?
The European Commission allocated €21.5 million for humanitarian assistance in Nigeria in 2015 and has an initial budget of €31 million for its 2016 response.
Since 2010, the European Commission has funded humanitarian partners to provide emergency food assistance, health and protection services to displaced people and victims of the conflict while enhancing the community management of acute malnutrition.
The needs are immense and, due to difficulties in accessing vulnerable groups, providing humanitarian assistance in Nigeria remains challenging. The European Commission is funding humanitarian projects in the country despite these constraints and is currently focusing on providing immediate and life-saving assistance to displaced people.
The Commission is also advocating for an increased presence of international humanitarian organisations and full and facilitated access to people in need. To promote health-enabling conditions, the EU also funds emergency operations in response to epidemics such as cholera.