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Humanitarian Action for Children 2022 - Nigeria

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  • An estimated 12.8 million people, including 8.1 million children and 4.7 million adults, are affected by conflict in north-east and north-west Nigeria. Of these numbers, over 2.3 million are displaced, while 1 million are living in inaccessible areas.2 Alarming levels of food insecurity and malnutrition from protracted conflict in the north-east and growing hostilities in the north-west, compounded by epidemic outbreaks such as yellow fever, cholera and malaria, continue to exacerbate an already dire situation.

  • UNICEF will provide an integrated and multi-sectoral response, focusing on conflictaffected populations in the north-east and north-west. The Rapid Response Mechanism will provide speedy and coordinated support to emerging crises. UNICEF will promote programmatic convergence while strengthening the quality of the response, the humanitarian-development nexus and UNICEF’s added value. A systematic gender lens will be applied to all analysis and programme design.

  • UNICEF requires US$230.7 million to deliver an integrated package of assistance with a focus on nutrition, education, WASH, health and child protection services to address the needs of vulnerable and crisis-affected children.


Humanitarian needs in Nigeria continue to increase, with conflicts in the north-east and the north-west geopolitical zones affecting approximately 12.8 million people, with 2.3 million displaced.7

In the north-east, 80 per cent of internally displaced people (IDPs) are in Borno state, 60 per cent in host communities, while more than 1 million are in inaccessible areas where services and assistance do not reach them. The protracted conflict and influx of IDPs from fresh fighting have exacerbated existing needs. More than 5.1 million people are experiencing worsening food insecurity and over 1.1 million children are acutely malnourished at a scale not seen since 2018. The global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate is over the critical threshold of 15 per cent.8

Poor health and WASH infrastructure in the context of COVID-19 is intensifying existing high levels of epidemics and illnesses like measles, cholera, yellow fever and malaria. A total of 2.8 million people are in critical need of sustained, equitable access to clean water and dignified hygiene and sanitation services. In the north-west, children face the threat of attacks by armed bandits and abduction. Nearly 350,000 people have been internally displaced, 89 per cent in host communities.9 Around 1.7 million are projected to be food insecure, complicating existing high malnutrition with an average GAM rate of 7 per cent,10 and further exacerbating deprivation in an area with the lowest development indicators in Nigeria.11 Only 35 per cent of the population have access to basic water supply and sanitation facilities. In host communities and camps, 41 per cent have access to less than 15 liters per day, 71 per cent have unimproved water facilities, 99 per cent have latrines that are either unhygienic or unusable, and up to half of these sites show evidence of open defecation. This is significant exposure to waterborne diseases, with a countrywide cholera outbreak further deepening the already dire situation.12

Nearly 1.3 million children require access to school due to disruption and destruction of school facilities in the north-east and north west. Around 1.7 million children require protection from child marriage, family separation, physical and sexual violence, psychosocial distress and use and recruitment by non-state armed groups.13

Threats against aid workers by parties to the conflict, including politicization, is affecting humanitarian access, with many areas at high risk. Increasing numbers of illegal checkpoints on roads affect cargo and personnel movement, worsened by threats of attacks, improvised explosive devices or unexploded ordnances and impassable routes.