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Early Recovery and Livelihoods Sector Strategy for Northeast Nigeria 2021-2023

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This strategic document aligns with the Nigerian Multi-Year Strategic Humanitarian Response Strategy (HRS) 2019-2021; especially the priorities of the Early Recovery and Livelihood Sector and its response modality along with other assistance options to meet multiple needs of the affected population.


Early recovery approach is a vital element of an effective humanitarian response. It is an integrated, inclusive and coordinated approach to gradually turn the dividends of humanitarian action into sustainable crisis recovery, resilience building and development opportunities. In the Nigerian context, the Early Recovery and Livelihoods Sector was activated in 2015 to strengthen the humanitarian response through the integration and coordination of all early recovery interventions and durable solutions by operationalizing the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus.

Recovery and peacebuilding efforts in Northeast Nigeria are taking place against the backdrop of an active conflict environment which presents both opportunities and risks. Out of the around 2 million displaced people in Northeast Nigeria, 1.7 million require humanitarian aid for their survival. Surveys carried out with IDPs and refugees show that many are eager to return to their places of origin within Local Government Areas (LGAs) when conditions are favorable. Security and access to services, unsurprisingly, are universally cited by both IDPs as well as refugees in neighboring countries as the key issues which must be addressed to facilitate their returns. The vast majority of IDPs, estimated to be some 75%, remain in host communities. A smaller number of IDPs, estimated to be some 25%, reside in camps scattered across the Northeast. Since the beginning of the year the security situation has deteriorated, with a significant increase in Boko Haram attacks on military outposts and convoys as well as UN and NGOs guest bases that are making the situation unstable and precarious, especially in areas like Dikwa and Damasak. Adamawa and Yobe States continues to experience marginal increased humanitarian needs driven by conflict, including attacks by non-state armed groups (NSAGs) and clashes with Government Forces (GF), and inter-communal clashes.

Despite the aforementioned risks, it is imperative for humanitarian and development actors to jointly plan and implement interventions which contribute directly to government efforts to create an environment of security, safety and solutions. Whereas most of the States in the Northeast are affected by the crisis, the geographical scope of this strategy will be limited to Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, where the main impact of the conflict has been most significant. Whilst some element of an overarching recovery and reconstruction effort may apply to all states, it is imperative that the specific nature of displacement, return movement and local capacity inform states-specific programs. In this scenario, the need for livelihood restoration and income recovery becomes critical to achieve sustainable impacts shifting towards a long-term approach.