Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
- An estimated 12.8 million people, including 8 million children and 4.7 million adults, are affected by conflict in north-east and north-west Nigeria. Of these numbers, over 2.3 million are displaced, while 1 million are living in inaccessible areas. Alarming levels of food insecurity and malnutrition from protracted conflict in the north-east and growing hostilities in the north-west, compounded by epidemic outbreaks such as yellow fever, cholera and malaria, continue to exacerbate an already dire situation.
- UNICEF will provide an integrated and multi-sectoral response, focusing on conflict-affected populations in the north-east and north-west. The Rapid Response Mechanism will provide speedy and coordinated support to emerging crises. UNICEF will promote programmatic convergence while strengthening the quality of the response, the humanitarian-development nexus and UNICEF’s added value. A systematic gender lens will be applied to all analysis and programme design.
- UNICEF requires US$230.7 million to deliver an integrated package of assistance with a focus on nutrition, education, WASH, health and child protection services to address the needs of vulnerable and crisis-affected children.
Key planned results for 2022
555,000 children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition
1.6 million people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water
294,400 children / caregivers accessing mental health and psychosocial support
1.3 million children accessing educational services
Funding requirements for 2022
Country needs and strategy
Humanitarian needs in Nigeria continue to increase, with conflicts in the north-east and the north-west geopolitical zones affecting approximately 12.8 million people, with 2.3 million displaced.
In the north-east, 80 per cent of internally displaced people (IDPs) are in Borno state, 60 per cent in host communities, while more than 1 million are in inaccessible areas where services and assistance do not reach them. The protracted conflict and influx of IDPs from fresh fighting have exacerbated existing needs. More than 5.1 million people are experiencing worsening food insecurity and over 1.1 million children are acutely malnourished at a scale not seen since 2018. The global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate is over the critical threshold of 15 per cent. Poor health and WASH infrastructure in the context of COVID-19 is intensifying existing high levels of epidemics and illnesses like measles, cholera, yellow fever and malaria. A total of 2.8 million people are in critical need of sustained, equitable access to clean water and dignified hygiene and sanitation services.
In the north-west, children face the threat of attacks by armed bandits and abduction. Nearly 350,000 people have been internally displaced, 89 per cent in host communities. Around 1.7 million are projected to be food insecure, complicating existing high malnutrition with an average GAM rate of 7 per cent, and further exacerbating deprivation in an area with the lowest development indicators in Nigeria. Only 35 per cent of the population have access to basic water supply and sanitation facilities. In host communities and camps, 41 per cent have access to less than 15 liters per day, 71 per cent have unimproved water facilities, 99 per cent have latrines that are either unhygienic or unusable, and up to half of these sites show evidence of open defecation. This is significant exposure to waterborne diseases, with a countrywide cholera outbreak further deepening the already dire situation.
Nearly 1.3 million children require access to school due to disruption and destruction of school facilities in the north-east and north west. Around 1.7 million children require protection from child marriage, family separation, physical and sexual violence, psychosocial distress and use and recruitment by non-state armed groups.
Threats against aid workers by parties to the conflict, including politicization, is affecting humanitarian access, with many areas at high risk. Increasing numbers of illegal checkpoints on roads affect cargo and personnel movement, worsened by threats of attacks, improvised explosive devices or unexploded ordnances and impassable routes.
UNICEF will work in close partnership with the Government, United Nations agencies, and international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to reach people affected by the ongoing crises. Where possible, UNICEF will work through nexus programming. This will be achieved through strengthening risk communication and community engagement for social and behavioral changes. UNICEF's response will be integrated and multi-sectoral, focusing on conflict-affected populations, ensuring adequate COVID-19 and preparedness measures are in place. UNICEF co-leads the nutrition, WASH, education sectors and child protection sub-sector with the Government. UNICEF’s response will focus on quality through improved sector coordination and leadership. A Rapid Response Mechanism by UNICEF and partners will provide immediate and coordinated support to affected populations in the event of rapid escalation of crises.
UNICEF will focus on improving the quality of its humanitarian programming, ensuring strong linkages between humanitarian and development, and mainstreaming prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA). UNICEF will provide services that will ensure malnourished children and women are identified for early admission to life-saving severe acute malnutrition (SAM) treatment.
While providing an effective and timely response to disease outbreaks, the integrated primary health care system will be strengthened to provide services to internally displaced people (IDPs), returnees and hosts. UNICEF will ensure sustained access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services in camps and host communities. Conflict-affected IDPs and host communities will be provided with improved, sustainable access and increased use of adequate emergency WASH services.
The protection of children and women will be increased through community-based actions to mitigate risks, prevent and respond to violence, exploitation and abuse. These will be achieved through access to essential child protection services and socioeconomic reintegration of children formerly associated with organized armed groups. UNICEF will ensure access to quality education opportunities to children in humanitarian situations while strengthening the education system to address transition to regular schools.
UNICEF will continue to integrate multi-sectoral humanitarian cash assistance for the most vulnerable households within crisis-affected areas. In all responses, UNICEF will pay attention to sensitive high-impact interventions and accountability to affected persons.
UNICEF will strengthen the use of data and evidence to enhance risk monitoring and preparedness for anticipatory action, when possible. Across all programmatic sectors, UNICEF will strengthen gender-based violence risk mitigation to improve support for the most vulnerable women and children.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Nigeria; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.