See how UNICEF is supporting the Government of Nigeria to respond to emergencies especially in northeast Nigeria.


The Challenge

The protracted conflict in north-eastern Nigeria continues to devastate the lives of civilians, resulting in a humanitarian crisis affecting 7.7 million women, men and children who are all in acute need of help and protection. Since the start of the conflict in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed, more than 4,000 people abducted and 1.7 million remain displaced, most of them in Borno State.

Those caught up in the conflict have experienced brutal violence, lost family, friends and homes, lived with acute and sustained levels of stress in poor conditions, seen their communities torn apart and had little or no access to life-saving services such as health and education. The humanitarian community has reached 4.5 million of those affected with life-saving assistance which has helped to stabilize living conditions for millions of people, reducing levels of mortality and morbidity. Nevertheless, ongoing threats of attacks by armed groups and military restrictions – particularly restrictions on population movements – continue to be obstacles to trade, livelihoods and markets, leaving a substantial proportion of the civilian population dependent on humanitarian assistance. The humanitarian need is ongoing and significant. 


Since the start of the conflict in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed, more than 4,000 people abducted and 1.7 million remain displaced, most of them in Borno State.

Borno state remains the epicentre of the crisis, with dozens of conflict-related incidents reported every month, while in Yobe and Adamawa States a handful of incidents occur. Direct violence against civilians, including the use of improvised explosive devices (often carried by women or children) is observed in Borno State virtually every week.

Almost nine out of ten displaced people come from Borno, and the state also hosts nearly 8 out 10 (78 per cent) internally displaced persons (IDPs). Further displacements are expected to occur as military operations and hostilities continue. 


Confronted with a volatile security situation, UNICEF Nigeria is supporting the achievement of the following: 

A child being screened for malnutrition

Treatment of severe acute malnourished (SAM) children via therapeutic programmes, provision of multi-micronutrient supplements and counselling for caregivers on appropriate infant feeding.  

A midwife putting a baby on a scale at a healthcentre

Provide support to the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) to set up outreach sites in Borno and Yobe States. 

A boy's height is being measured.

Establishment of mobile teams in Borno State providing integrated nutrition services to children and families.

A health worker weighing a newborn at a health centre.

Provision of primary healthcare consultations, vaccination against measles for children and provision of insecticide treated bed-nets for families.  

Children drinking clean water from a tap.

Provision of access to safe water, improved sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion, and distribution of hygiene supplies to maintain a sanitary environment. 

Children holding hands

Provision of psychosocial support and reintegration services to children associated with armed groups or subject to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and linking unaccompanied and separated children to protective services.

Children learning at a camp in Borno State

Provision of access to education through Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) and schools, and provision of learning materials.