Nigeria + 1 more

UNHCR Nigeria: Cash and Economic Inclusion Update January 2022



  • UNHCR’s cash assistance expands to Akwa Ibom State.

  • FAO and UNHCR undertake in-depth assessment of food insecurity and livelihoods


In December 2021 and January 2022, UNHCR distributed urgently needed cash assistance to Cameroonians in Nigeria

Cash in hand and on the bank

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, pumped over 1.9 million US$ through its cash-for-food programme into areas in Nigeria that host Cameroonian refugees. While UNHCR’s cash support had to be cut several times in recent years exacerbating the food situation amid rising food prices and shrinking opportunities for income generation following the economic hit of COVID-19, a generous donation from the UAE-based private donor Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) made this possible.

During the last days of 2021, UNHCR distributed cash in hand for food to some 20,000 Cameroonian refugees in settlements in Ogoja and Ikyogen (Cross River and Benue States) through its partners Rhema Care and Foundation for Justice Development and Peace. They received a total of 166 Million Naira (about US$ 400,000). Additional outreach will ensure that individuals entitled to cash assistance who did not show up, receive this support.
UNHCR also transferred over 140 Million Naira (nearly US$ 340,000) to the bank accounts of some 4,000 refugee families in the first days of 2022. MBRGI’s support will allow UNHCR to continue its cash support to Cameroonian refugees in the coming weeks.

Refugees in Akwa Ibom and Taraba receive money for the first time

Earlier in December 2021, UNHCR and Rhema Care distributed cash for food and rent to all Cameroonian refugees registered in Akwa Ibom State as of September 2021. It was the first cash support of its kind to refugees in this State. The assistance reached more than 1,400 refugees of some 800 families at a rate of Naira (NGN) 4,600 (about US$ 11) per individual per month for three months and NGN 20,000 (nearly US$ 50) for rent per family for six months for almost 180 vulnerable families.
The same amount of cash for food and rent also reached Cameroonian refugees in Taraba State for the first time. In Takum, Ussa, Kurumi, Bali and Sardauna Local Government Areas, over 3,000 refugees and nearly 800 vulnerable locals benefitted.
In addition, UNHCR helped some 10,000 women, men and children with ad-hoc cash assistance worth nearly 75 M Naira (some US$ 180,000). Over 2,200 families with extremely vulnerable members such as elderly individuals or those with specific needs received the support through UNHCR’s bank platform.

Tomatoes blossom in North-East Nigeria

UNHCR also supported refugee and IDP returnees in NorthEast Nigeria. In Banki and Bama, Borno State, where Nigerian refugees had returned from Cameroon in a governmentled repatriation in April 2021, some 1,200 families received agricultural tools, inputs and training for peri-urban/homestead gardening in a UNHCR collaboration with FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. The refugee returnees and vulnerable IDP returnee families whose livelihoods and self-reliance were supported, now produce vegetables such as tomatoes and spinach and meet some of their basic food needs. Their food security and nutrition have improved thanks to a dignified source of income.