Northeast Nigeria: Displacement Report 35 (December 2020)

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This report, which presents results from Round 35 of Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) assessments carried out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) aims to improve understanding of the scope of internal displacements, returns and the needs of affected populations in conflict-affected states of north east Nigeria. The report covers the period from 9 to 21 November 2020 and reflects trends from the 6 states in Nigeria’s North East geopolitical zone. This zone is the most affected by the conflict and consist of the following states: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.

In Round 35, 2,150,243 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) or 442,297 households were recorded as displaced, an increase of 6,108 individuals (or 0.3%) against the last assessment (Round 34) published in January 2021 when 2,144,135 IDPs were recorded as displaced. There was 1.2 per cent increase in the number of IDPs in Round 34 compared to Round 33. The Round 35 number of IDPs is also higher than the figure reported in Round 32 which was conducted in June 2020 when 2,088,124 IDPs were identified. Prior to Round 32, the February 2020 (Round 31) assessment had recorded 2,046,604 IDPs, confirming a 5 per cent increase in the number of IDPs during the past year.

The number of displaced persons in the region is now well above (increase by more than 6%) the number recorded in Round 25 (2,026,602 individuals), which was conducted before the escalating violence was observed in October 2018. This despite the fact that accessibility remains lower than it had been during the Round 25 and prior. Since the Round 25 of assessments, the LGAs Kukawa, Kala/Balge and Guzamala in Borno State have been largely inaccessible due to increased hostilities in those districts. In Round 29, the ward Rann in Kala/Balge LGA became accessible again and is reachable up till date. Given that the number of IDPs is slowly increasing, although accessibility currently remains low, it can be inferred that the actual displacement figures could be considerably higher. To gain insights into the profiles of IDPs, interviews were conducted with 5.5 per cent of the identified IDP population — 117,998 displaced persons — during this round of assessments. The information collated and analysed in this report includes the reasons for displacement, places of origin and shelter types, mobility patterns, and unfulfilled needs of the displaced populations.

During Round 35, assessments were conducted in 2,396 locations (up from 2,391 locations compared to Round 34 of assessments conducted in October 2020). Assessed locations included 308 camps and camp-like settlements (up from 306 in Round 34) as well as 2,088 locations where internally displaced persons were living among host communities (up from 2,085 in Round 34). The purpose was to better understand the gaps in services provided and the needs of the affected population. Site assessments included an analysis of sector-wide needs, including shelter and non-food items (NFIs), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food and nutrition, health, education, livelihood, security, communication and protection.

Furthermore, a total of 1,742,907 returnees were recorded in the DTM Round 35 assessment. This signifies an increment of 6,058 individuals or less than 1 per cent compared to Round 34 when 1,736,849 returnees were recorded (October 2020). This number confirms the increasing trend in the number of returnees that was noticed throughout the year 2020.

Notably, this report will specifically focus on the dynamics of forced displacement in the state of Borno, as it is the most affected by the conflict in Nigeria’s North East Zone.