Nigeria: 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview

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Across the three affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY), 7.1 million people are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2019 out of the total population of 13.4 million. Over eighty per cent of internally displaced people are in Borno State, the epicenter of the crisis, and over sixty per cent are living in host communities, making it harder to access them with assistance and putting additional pressure on the already stretched resources of these communities. One in four of the internally displaced people are under five, and 80 per cent are women and children. However, some 1.6 million people have returned home since August 2015, indicating that conditions in some locations have improved. Humanitarian organisations are not able to meet all needs in the north-east; more than 800,000 people in Borno State are estimated to be in areas that are inaccessible to humanitarian organisations.

Protection of civilians

North-east Nigeria is one of the world’s largest protection crises, in which civilians face serious risks to their safety, well-being and basic rights. Since the start of the conflict in 2009, more than 27,0001 people have been killed in the BAY states, thousands of women and girls abducted and hundreds of children used as human bombs. Attacks on camps for internally displaced people continue to be carried out and threaten those living in the camps, which are places of safe haven.

Basic survival

Millions of people in north-east Nigeria rely on humanitarian assistance to survive. Despite significant improvements in 2017 and 2018, the food security and nutrition situation remains fragile in the north-east, with 2.7 million2 people in the BAY states needing food assistance in 2019. More than 5 million people need health assistance, with two thirds of health facilities in the BAY states having been damaged by the conflict. Basic survival needs are compounded by access and security impediments.

Humanitarian access

Humanitarian access is often impeded or restricted as a result of ongoing hostilities, threats of attack, Improvised Explosive Devices and unexploded ordnances, and impassable roads and bridges. The humanitarian community also faces restrictions on movement imposed by parties to the conflict. Many areas of Borno State are considered high-risk for humanitarian actors which is constraining access to vulnerable communities. More than 800,000 people are estimated to be in areas that are inaccessible to international humanitarian organisations.

Durable solutions

Durable solutions are needed to address the risks and vulnerabilities of those most affected by the crisis, especially internally displaced people and refugees, and to reduce humanitarian needs.
This requires enhanced coherence and complementarity between humanitarian, stabilization, crisis prevention and development partners, in adherence with their respective mandates.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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