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. The number of Nigerians who have been forcibly displaced within the country is around 1.9 million. 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. The current food crisis, driven by insecurity and the almost halt of sub-regional cross border trade, already has massive consequences. Over 15 million people are food insecure, out of whom over 5.1 million are severely food insecure and in need of immediate food assistance.
The country is also regularly affected by seasonal floods and epidemics such as cholera, polio and measles.
How are we helping?
The European Commission’s humanitarian office has allocated €124 million for humanitarian assistance in Nigeria since 2014.
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.