North-East Nigeria: Humanitarian Situation Update, December 2017


The humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria remains severe due to ongoing conflict, continued internal displacement and the unpredictable return of refugees from neighbouring countries. Since late October 2017, large-scale displacements have taken place in Borno State and northern Adamawa State, with influxes of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Pulka, Gwoza, Ngala, Monguno,
Askira/Uba, Konduga, Bama and Mafa most notably. In just three months, 28,000 have fled these areas and other locations for various reasons including voluntary relocation, insecurity and poor living conditions. Another large-scale displacement took place along the Maiduguri-Monguno axis (Tungushe, Tungushe Ngor, Gajiram, Gajigana, Gasarwa) due to a surge in hostilities in the northeast of Borno State. Biometric verifications are still ongoing in all the aforementioned locations but aid groups estimate that over 36,000 women, children and men have been displaced in recent months, most of whom are in dire need of food, water, shelter, blankets and clothes, as well as medical care. Host communities are also extremely vulnerable. These newly displaced populations report that many more families remain in areas inaccessible to humanitarian workers, and additional displacements from these areas are expected in the coming weeks.

The food security situation has slightly improved in population centres across the north-east in 2017 thanks to various factors including improved security, scale-up of food and livelihoods assistance, favourable climatic conditions for agricultural production and slight market recovery. Nonetheless, conflict continues to limit the amount of land under cultivation and the situation remains concerning in 2018, with 2.6 million currently severely food insecure and 3.7 million expected to face critical levels of food insecurity during the upcoming lean season (June through September). Without sustained assistance, the situation could quickly deteriorate.

On 21 December, after four months of intense work by Health, Water and Sanitation, Shelter and Camp Coordination actors, the cholera epidemic in Borno State was declared over by state health authorities. Overall, more than 5,000 cases and 61 deaths were reported in Maiduguri and its surroundings, and Dikwa, Monguno, Mafa and Guzamala local government areas (LGAs). Cholera prevention messages and the importance of good sanitation and hygiene practices are ongoing to mitigate any risk of a new outbreak.

To improve local coordination and increase the presence of humanitarians where vulnerable populations are living, to date, five ‘deep field’ humanitarian hubs (Maiduguri, Ngala, Dikwa, Bama and Gwoza) offering secure accommodation and Internet connectivity to aid workers have been made operational. Another four (Monguno, Damasak, Banki and Rann) are expected to be fully operational by March 2018.

With close to 71 per cent (US$743 million out of $1.05 billion) of the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) funding requirements received before year-end, the humanitarian response in Nigeria was one of the world’s best funded in 2017. Thanks to the generous support of donors, many sectors were able to meet their targets on key life-saving activities. However, a critical gap remained throughout the year in the funding of the Response and Recovery Planning sector. This hampered the humanitarian agencies’ ability to deliver comprehensive livelihood support to affected people, has slowed down debris removal activities in major towns, and overall limited early recovery work across north-east Nigeria.

As the year draws to a close, sectors and humanitarian organisations continued to carry out various programme-based and areabased needs assessments which contributed tothe 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview and Humanitarian Response Plan, both to be released in early February.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit