Conflict in Northeast Nigeria: A $100 Billion Economic Crisis and a Lost Generation, Warns UNICEF
ABUJA, NIGERIA, 06 SEPTEMBER 2023 — The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today released a new study detailing the devastating economic impact of the ongoing conflict in Northeast Nigeria. The study illustrates how violence and grave violations against children have led to a dire economic downturn, affecting not just the conflicted region but the country as a whole.
The study reveals that as of 2021, the Nigerian economy was 2.5% smaller than it would have been without the conflict, equating to a cumulative loss of approximately $100 billion over the last ten years. Furthermore, over 2 million people currently remain displaced, and around 1 million children have missed school due to the armed conflict.
Speaking on the report, the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate stated, "The data collected brings a harrowing reality into sharp focus. This isn't merely a localized issue; the economic and social repercussions of this conflict are felt nationwide and beyond. However, the greatest tragedy lies in the impact on our children — their disrupted education and the violation of their basic rights are losses that cannot be quantified."
Ms. Munduate further highlighted the potential long-term consequences of the ongoing conflict: "Even if we anticipate a reduction in conflict effects over the next ten years, the Nigerian economy still faces profound cumulative losses. The 'scarring' effect of this drawn-out conflict may inhibit the economy from achieving its full potential, putting the nation’s future prosperity in jeopardy."
Calling for swift and unified action to end the conflict, Ms. Munduate emphasized, "The time to act is now. The future of our children and our nation's economic growth are at stake. We must prioritize peace and the protection of children's rights to ensure a brighter future for Nigeria."
"Each statistic in this report represents a child, a future, a hope. Beyond the staggering figures, there's a compelling call to action. We cannot ignore it. The stakes are simply too high." Munduate added.
Note: For detailed insights from the study, visit www.unicef.org/nigeria/reports/economic-cost-conflict-north-east-nigeria
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.