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Humanitarian Action for Children 2020 - Nigeria

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The significant humanitarian needs in Nigeria are driven by conflict and violence. In the northeast, ongoing hostilities between non-state armed groups and security forces have affected 7.7 million people and displaced 1.8 million. In the northwest and north-central regions, inter-communal violence has displaced nearly 310,000 people and undermined the livelihoods of thousands more. The humanitarian situation is particularly dire in areas with previously high levels of malnutrition and common childhood illnesses. In northwest Zamfara and Sokoto states, over 200,000 children are estimated to be severely malnourished. In the northeast, over 310,000 children are estimated to be severely malnourished and 3.5 million people require water and sanitation. At least 1.1 million children need support to access education, and 1.77 million children require child protection services. In addition, dozens of states face the risk of environmental emergencies and disease outbreaks. The frequency and impact of annual flooding have eroded the resilience of riverine communities; and cholera and measles outbreaks affected more than 700 and nearly 29,000 children in 2019, respectively. The cumulative impacts of these disasters have weakened the coping capacities of communities.

Humanitarian strategy

Across Nigeria, UNICEF works in close partnership with the Government, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to reach people affected by crisis. UNICEF will continue to partner with 11 international NGOs and 9 national NGOs, and seek to expand its partnerships in new locations, including in the northwest. UNICEF will also expand its geographic focus into these areas to respond to emergency needs in nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education, child protection and health for internally displaced persons and host communities. In northeast Nigeria, UNICEF will deliver an integrated package of interventions to conflict-affected populations in line with the inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan 2019–2021. In most of its northeast sectors, UNICEF will hand over a greater share of service delivery to partners whose capacity in the region is increasing, providing UNICEF more scope to focus on coordination, setting sector standards and quality programming. In nutrition, UNICEF will continue to manage the pipeline for ready-touse therapeutic food for all sector partners. UNICEF will also ensure strong linkages between humanitarian action and development activities. Gender-based violence risk mitigation efforts will be strengthened across all programme sectors. In collaboration with the Government, UNICEF, will continue to provide coordination support as co-lead of the nutrition, WASH and education sectors and the child protection sub-sector.

Results from 2019

As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$68.8 million available against the US$120.1 million appeal (57 per cent funded). This enabled UNICEF to reach some 1.6 million children in conflict-affected states in the northeast with treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM), integrated primary health care services in UNICEF-supported health facilities, safe water and sanitation, communication for development, psychosocial support and inclusive education. In WASH, UNICEF focused on the operation and maintenance of facilities, in addition to the construction of new facilities, and increased the number of internally displaced persons with sustained access to safe water. UNICEF was an active facilitator in the containment of the 2019 measles outbreak in the northeast through its support of a reactive vaccination campaign for over 1.3 million children. Despite lack of funding for nutrition, which almost resulted in a break in the ready-to-use therapeutic food pipeline in the fourth quarter, over 96,000 children with SAM received treatment. Child protection services reached 245,000 children with psychosocial support and tens of thousands of children received risk education on explosive remnants of war. At least 37,000 children accessed education services in safe learning spaces, and teacher training on psychosocial support services benefited more than 249,000 children.