I. Summary of the response
Now in its ninth year, the crisis in north-east Nigeria remains one of the most severe in the world with 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2018 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY), and 6.1 million targeted for humanitarian assistance1.
The crisis is a protection crisis, first and foremost, with civilians bearing the brunt of the conflict, with widespread displacement, abuse and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. Nearly 1.82 million people are internally displaced in the three states. The food security and nutrition situation remains extremely fragile across the northeast, particularly given the high levels of aid dependency, and the lack of access to land or other livelihood opportunities. The March 2018 Cadre Harmonisé analysis revealed that the number of people estimated to be facing critical and crisis food and nutrition insecurity levels (IPC 3 and 43) in the BAY states was at 2.3 million for March-May and up to 3 million projected for June-August 2018⁴. An estimated 940,000 children aged 6 to 59 months across the BAY states are acutely malnourished, 440,000 with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and 500,000 with Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM). One in every five of these children with SAM and one in every 15 of the children with MAM are at risk of death if their malnutrition remains untreated. The continuous influx of returnees and the camp overcrowding continue to increase the risk of outbreaks including cholera, hepatitis E, meningitis and measles. The north-east is currently facing several cholera/ Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) outbreaks in all three states.
From January to June 2018, the humanitarian response in north-east Nigeria was ongoing, in support of the Government of Nigeria, and despite several challenges delivered notable achievements. In the first half of the year, the humanitarian community provided life-saving assistance to 3.9 million people. The number of food insecure people was reduced from 5.2 million to 2.9 million (from October 2017) while food assistance reached 1.8 million of the 3.7 million targeted people. Thanks to an expansion of nutrition services, including to new arrivals, almost 8 in 10 children affected by SAM have recovered, totaling over 229,000 million children. 2.3 million people received life-saving health services, while partners reached some 2.3 million people with medical consultations, including through mobile outreach teams. In addition, 478 health facilities were supported with medicine and equipment. 2.2 million were provided with safe water, and 100,000 reached with hygiene and sanitation services. Thanks to a timely response of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Health Sectors in collaboration with state authorities, the cholera/AWD outbreaks in all three states are under control. Regarding emergency shelter, 29,600 kits were provided to conflict-affected families, including new arrivals, achieving 28 per cent of the target. In addition, 28 per cent of the 106,500 households targeted for NFI kits were reached. To improve humanitarian targeting and tracking of needs, 344,000 individuals were biometrically registered from January to June 2018. Protection-related screenings, registrations and monitoring showed 28 per cent achievement out of a 530,900 people target, with 150,400 individuals reached. Education actors supported 100,000 learners and teachers with equipment and supplies, classrooms and temporary learning spaces, and other critical interventions to ensure that an entire generation of children is not left behind.
The Early Recovery and Livelihoods sector made inroads to scale up response activities and reached 45,600 beneficiaries with cash-for-work activities and livelihoods trainings. Further, in line with the 2018 HRP Strategic Objective of fostering resilience and early recovery and strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus, the humanitarian community in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria has taken concrete steps towards the New Way of Working (NWOW), as agreed upon at the World Humanitarian Summit. As part of this process, on 7 and 8 May, the first ever Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum for Regional Cooperation on Stabilisation, Peacebuilding and Sustainable Development was held in Maiduguri. The aim was to promote continuous dialogue and to strengthen coordination and collaboration on crossborder initiatives at the sub-national level around the Lake Chad Basin. The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) also set up a task force to operationalize the NWOW, and select HCT members together with Government representatives attended the NWOW workshop in Dakar, Senegal at the end of May.
Between 01 January and 30 June 2018, 15,430 m3 (4,810 MT) of humanitarian relief material was received into Logistics Sector-managed storage facilities in Maiduguri (operated by Premiere Urgence Internationale), Monguno (operated by Solidarites International), Banki (operated by INTERSOS), Bama (operated by INTERSOS), Ngala (operated by eHealth Africa), Damasak (operated by ACTED) and Dikwa (operated by ACTED). Construction of an additional four common storages sites in Rann, Damasak, Bama and Dikwa is underway. UNHAS flew with 21,500 passengers to 11 deep field locations from January to June 2018 to facilitate the humanitarian response. During the first half of 2018, the Emergency Telecommunications Sector (ETS) provided internet connectivity services to 945 humanitarian workers from 77 organisations, enabling their activities in remote locations where services from local Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are limited or non-existent. 325 humanitarians from 23 organisations were trained in standard security telecommunications procedures to ensure humanitarians can effectively use the ETS radio services deployed in nine operational areas across Borno and Yobe states. To address bureaucratic impediments related to the importation of medicines and supplies and other humanitarian goods, a joint UNOCHA and WHO mission was carried out in March 2018. This is part of the Customs Readiness (C-Red) Project that aims to relate with customs authorities to fast track movement of relief consignments for humanitarian activities. Consultations and meetings were conducted with relevant government agencies such as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Nigeria Customs Service.
In the first half of 2018, the HCT endorsed four strategies and guidance documents to support efforts to secure more effective, timely and principled humanitarian assistance for affected populations in north-east Nigeria. The first was the HCT Centrality of Protection Strategy (endorsed in March 2018) which aims to ensure a comprehensive approach to providing affected populations the means to live their lives in safety and dignity. Similarly, the HCT also took steps to advance the Protection Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Action Plan that was updated in April. The second is the HCT Advocacy Strategy that was endorsed in April and aims to guide joint efforts to secure more effective assistance for and protection of vulnerable people by exerting greater influence on the decisions that affect humanitarian action. The third is the HCT Access Strategy that was endorsed in April and aims to support and promote adherence to humanitarian principles and a principled response. Lastly, the Civil-Military Coordination (CmCoord) Guidance document was also endorsed in April and provides an operational framework for principled engagement with the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
As part of the HCT’s commitment to gender mainstreaming in humanitarian aid, an inter-agency Gender Advisor was deployed to the north-east in February 2018. A Gender Technical Team (GTT) was established, composed of sector gender focal points, to support gender coordination under the auspices of the ISWG. A Gender Strategy was approved by the HCT in June 2018 to strengthen gender mainstreaming in humanitarian interventions in the north-east.
In the first half of 2018, the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) raised $5.7 million to support the humanitarian response. Two NHF reserve allocations were launched from January to June, with a third currently underway. The total allocation for this period was $17 million for 37 life-saving projects. The first reserve allocation of $9 million was launched for 15 life-saving projects spanning seven sectors including Shelter/NFIs, Logistics, WASH, DMS (CCCM), Health, Protection and Nutrition in January. In May, the NHF completed a second reserve allocation of $2 million to reduce cholera-related mortality and morbidity, and to address critical WASH needs in Yobe State. In June, a third reserve allocation of $6 million was initiated, and approved by the Advisory Board in early July, to respond to large scale displacements forced by ongoing military operations that will coincide with the rainy season, and for health programming along the Monguno axis of Borno State.
As humanitarian crises have now extended beyond the north-east of the country, so has the humanitarian response. Clashes between herders and farmers in the north-central region have triggered the displacement of thousands of people, who are taking refuge in government-run camps. Humanitarian assistance in support of Government-led initiatives is being provided in some locations, and this will be scaled up in coming weeks following a $4 million one off NHF allocation.
In addition, UNHCR and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) have so far registered over 21,000 Anglophone refugees from Cameroon who fled to Cross River (17,000), Taraba (600), Benue (3,500) and Akwa-Ibom (180) states since October 2017⁵. The arrival of these refugees – who continue to cross into Nigeria fleeing violence in the north-west and south-west regions of Cameroon - has presented a new dimension to the already complex humanitarian situation in Nigeria.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.