2017 Humanitarian Needs Overview: Nigeria, November 2016

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Insecurity related to Boko Haram violence and military counter operations continues to affect 26 million people living in North East Nigeria. The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is estimated to be 14 million. Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States are the most directly affected by conflict and mass forced displacement with Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba largely affected by hosting some of the displaced. In an already economically deprived region, nearly 80 per cent of 1.8 million IDPs live with host communities placing a huge strain on infrastructure and resources. As areas previously held by Boko Haram become accessible, a section of people with urgent needs are within limited reach of government and humanitarian partner assistance. However, the response is not currently able to meet all the needs, as some areas are still largely inaccessible. The dire humanitarian situation found in these areas suggests that those still unreachable are also in critical need.

Humanitarian needs

1. Basic Survival There is a growing food and nutrition crisis across areas of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States. Since March 2016 the estimated number of people facing extreme food and nutrition deficits has doubled to 5.8 million. This is resulting in high acute malnutrition and reduced immunity to basic illnesses such as malaria. In the worst affected and least accessible areas of Borno and Yobe there are severe forms of food and nutrition insecurity. Access to water remains limited and already-weak health systems are massively disrupted.

2. Protection Protection needs in the North East of Nigeria, particularly in the recently accessible areas of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States remain severe, especially for vulnerable groups, including women, children and older people. People face grave human rights violations and human rights abuses including death, injuries, sexual and gender -based violence, arbitrary detention, disappearances, forced displacement, attacks on civilian sites and forced recruitment.

3. Effects of multiple forced displacements There are 1.8 million people displaced internally and 187,000 Nigerians seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. An estimated 1 million people who were previously internally displaced and previously refugees have started to return towards their areas of origin. However, the towns where they are returning are destroyed with insufficient infrastructure and as a result many remain displaced in larger towns. With insecurity persisting across large areas of Borno, and a large number of the IDPs being from Borno, many communities will continue to host IDPs and many people will continue to live in displacement with a lack of livelihoods and dependant on humanitarian support.

4. Humanitarian Access Access to people in need of urgent life-saving assistance remains constrained largely by insecurity and other forms of restrictions. Those trapped by the armed conflict are prevented from accessing basic life-saving services with reports of pockets of people in some areas experiencing famine like conditions. Even in partially accessible areas in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe where Boko Haram has been pushed back, other constraints to humanitarian space are present. Although coordination with Government is improving, bureaucratic restrictions on visas and customs clearance for humanitarian personnel and supplies persist.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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