Nigeria: PSWG Protection Overview, June 2018
Achievements: The protection sector collectively reached 1,392,933 (Protection: 445,523, CP:585,920, GBV: 361,490) individuals between January and June 2018. This amounts to 52% of the 2.7 million individuals targeted in the 2018 HRP. Resources remain scarce as there are many unmet needs. Numbers keep swelling with both spontaneous and involuntary movements thereby stretching the capacity of protection sector severely. The vast majority of the displaced are in Borno State, with a total of 1,153,953 reached; 144,681 in Yobe and 94,299 in Adamawa.
In June 2018 alone, 163,331 individuals were reached with protection operations, which includes 112,082 screened/registered through protection monitoring, vulnerability screening, refugee returnee registration and profiling of IDP returnees; 26,729 provided with protection-based material assistance; and 16,712 reached with protection messaging, including on core human rights principles, peaceful coexistence and housing, land and property rights.
The sector has prioritized responses in areas receiving new arrivals in recent months, due to displacement by heightened military operations, namely in Pulka, Tungushe, Gwoza, Ngala and Monguno. NHF funds have been allocated in those areas to provide life-saving interventions with a focus on protection monitoring and response; referrals for specialized services such as medical, legal as well as addressing the needs of persons with special needs such as unaccompanied and separated children, the elderly, individuals with physical disabilities and mental health issues; protection-based material assistance, such as provision of charcoal and energy saving stoves to mitigate the risk of attacks on women when they go out in search of firewood; and documentation, registration, vulnerability screening and profiling. Eight key protection partners have provided scaled up protection interventions to the recently displaced populations in Pulka, Tungushe, Gwoza, Monguno and Ngala, namely, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP, IOM, AIPD, GISCOR and FHI 360.
The Sector has gained headway in key advocacy initiatives in the first half of 2018, namely in working to support the passage of the Child Rights Law in Adamawa State, engaging the government to start an Access to Justice and Rule of Law Technical Committee in Yobe State to review critical laws, and on facilitating a dialogue with the military on gender- based violence issues through a regular meeting forum in Borno State. Further, the PSWG supported the drafting and finalization of the HCT Centrality of Protection Strategy and Action Plan. In 2018, the PSWG has further focused on expanding its coordination outside of the state capitals, with PSWGs now convening in Mubi, Adamawa State and in multiple LGAs in Borno.
Way forward: Funding remains critically low despite some great efforts made in the first half of the year. As it stands, the protection sector requires $113.7 million for some 40 projects in the OPS. Only 8% has been received so far to enable the 8 protection actors deliver life-saving interventions in the specified areas. So far, the sector has submitted to NHF 7 projects under the Reserve Allocation, 2, 3 and 4 received $2.1 Million for protection response for a targeted 87,450 most vulnerable individuals. This allocation covers Gender Based Violence, GBV and Child Protection, under a joint UNICEF/UNFPA proposal under Reserve Allocation 4.
Protection by presence in the deep field is an on-going concern coupled with staffing constraints in the sector. Lack of partners coupled with institutional capacity of predominantly local NGOs in critical areas in Borno marks a significant gap in the capability to ensure adequate coverage of protection response throughout the most affected LGAs.
OXFAM pulled out of the response in Tungushe and Pulka and UNHCR had to rapidly scale up to take over the two initial project proposals submitted by OXFAM and approved by NHF. The sector is advocating with its members to deploy to the deep field to strengthen the overall response.
Cases of forcible returns and refoulement continue to be registered and many refugee returnees are staying in situations of secondary displacement with huge gaps in assistance provided.
The planned facilitated returns of 4,000 Nigerian Refugees from Cameroon as part of the voluntary return envisaged by the Tripartite Agreement between Nigeria, Cameroon and UNHCR has stalled due to the government’s decision to fly back the returnees as opposed to using road travel. This was agreed on by the Tripartite Commission in December 2017 and discussed during the meeting thereafter in June 2018.
The Child Protection Sub-Sector coordinator left the operation in January 2018 and the replacement is expected in Maiduguri in August 2018.