Nigeria

Photo: Guy Calaf for Action Against Hunger, Nigeria
Photo: Guy Calaf for Action Against Hunger, Nigeria
Population
178.5 million
Human Development Index
152 (out of 188 countries ranked)
Our Team
462 employees
Program Start
2010

People Helped in 2020: 2,431,541

1,507,518
People Reached by Nutrition and Health Programs 
681,728
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs 
226,875
People Reached by Food Security and Livelihoods Programs 

Nigeria is Africa’s wealthiest, most populous nation, and its fastest-growing economy. Despite this, more than half of the country lives below the poverty line, and northern Nigeria suffers the world’s third highest level of chronic undernutrition among children. This silent crisis is caused by lack of access to safe water and sanitation, rising food insecurity, the disruption of basic services due to conflict, and poor knowledge of healthy feeding practices for infants and young children. 

Since 2012, Northeastern Nigeria has faced insecurity due to conflict with armed insurgent groups. Civilians have limited access to assistance, and food remains a major need in displacement settlements. Prolonged absence of food security, livelihoods, healthcare, education, clean water, and sanitation and hygiene facilities exacerbate risks. Protection concerns include arbitrary detention, forced conscription, domestic violence, forced and early marriages, trafficking, and sexual exploitation and abuse.

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After more than a decade of conflict, the humanitarian crisis in Northeastern Nigeria remains one of the most serious in the world. In 2020, 7.9 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in Nigeria, yet more than a million people remained beyond the reach of humanitarian actors because they live in areas controlled by armed groups. Food insecurity remains extremely high as a result of population displacement, climate change and the economic impact of COVID-19. Additionally, the nutrition and health situation remains worrying: only 58% of health infrastructures are functional, and one million people receive less than 15 liters of water per day.

Action Against Hunger provided vital monthly food assistance to approximately 209,000 people in Borno and Yobe states in 2020. Our team also provided technical support and supplies to families for agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing, vegetable gardens and other income-generating activities to improve food security and community resilience. We supported health structures, staff, and community volunteers so that they can provide quality primary healthcare and carry out malnutrition prevention activities, targeting pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under five years old.

We improved access to water and sanitation through the rehabilitation and construction of water points and latrines, hygiene promotion, capacity building and advocacy. Our teams distributed hygiene kits, shelters, and non-food items in host communities and displacement camps, and we are contributing to the national effort to end open defecation in Nigeria. 

Ya Fati’s home and village were destroyed by the conflict in Northern Nigeria. Instead of food rations, she received monthly cash installments through Action Against Hunger’s emergency food assistance program. She used her cash to pay for shelter for her family, medicine, and food at the local market. “Before, I was dependent on my relatives. I can now feed my family,” she says. Ya Fati has even been able to save a little money from her monthly allocation, which she invested in two sheep, a source of future earnings: “I will try to also fatten my sheep so that I can make my own money.”

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