Nigeria

North-East Nigeria: Humanitarian Situation Update, August 2017

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OPERATIONAL OVERVIEW

  • 8.5 MILLION PEOPLE IN NEED OF LIFE-SAVING ASSISTANCE IN 2017

  • 6.9 MILLION PEOPLE TARGETED FOR LIFE-SAVING ASSISTANCE IN 2017

Unpredictable population movements continue to pose a major challenge in the humanitarian agencies' ability to respond in a timely and targeted manner to the humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) currently stands at 1.7 million in Barno, Adamawa and Yobe states, in addition to over 200,000 Nigerian refugees in neighbouring countries. The main drivers of these movements and others are: IDPs returning to their place of origin, refugees returning to Nigeria, and ongoing conflict. In August alone, 4,509 new arrivals were recorded in Gwoza and 2,411 in Nga la, and many more in Dikwa, Kukawa, Dam boa and Barna. In many camps and host communities, resources are already overstretched, and new arrivals often create additional challenges. While shelters continue to be constructed where possible to tackle camp overcrowding, the lack of space due to insecurity remains an important obstacle, which partners are attempting to address through advocacy with the Nigerian authorities.

Food insecurity remains a major concern with 5.2 million people in need of life-saving food assistance. To date, the sector has been able to reach 3.4 million of the targeted 5.1 million with food and livelihood assistance. The current response, paired with the ongoing governmental intervention in the north-east, is preventing famine. The main planting season is underway and prospects for cereal crops are favourable. However, the heavy rains in August caused flooding, waterlogging and windstorm damage, destroying many farms. A new food security and nutrition analysis will be carried out in October under the Cadre Harmonise framework to provide a better understanding of the situation as well as projections for the upcoming months.

On 16 August, a cholera outbreak was reported on the outskirts of Borno's capital, Maiduguri, and later on in Dikwa and Monguno as well. As of 31 August, there were 125 suspected or confirmed cases and eight suspected cholera-related deaths. Health actors, in close partnership with Water and Sanitation partners, have mobilized to open cholera treatment centres for the most severe cases, as well as rehydration points for the milder cases in the main hotspots. Prevention and preparedness measures are also being put in place in areas identified as 'high' or 'very high' risk across Barno State.

In August, attacks against civilians, including suicide bombings in IDP camps, remained a major concern. Over 10 person-borne explosive device attacks took place during the reporting period in Barno alone. The most significant incident happened on 15 August, when a reported 16 civilians lost their lives in an attack in a market in Konduga. In Adamawa State, various attacks by non-state armed groups took place in Madagali LGA, andclose to a dozen civilians were killed and several homes set ablaze. On 19 August, aid agencies in Nigeria participated in a global campaign for World Humanitarian Day highlighting that civilians are #NotATarget.

To ensure that humanitarian actors can continue to address the most pressing needs, access must be improved in north-east Nigeria. For example, in August, lack of access in certain LGAs prevented Food Security organisations from reaching 337,000 affected persons. Finally, additional funding continues to be critically needed for certain sectors, such as Health, Education, and Response and Recovery Planning, pivotal to kick­starting the transition out of the emergency phase in north-east Nigeria.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.