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
588 employees
Program Start
2010

People Helped in 2019: 2,073,747

837,706
People Reached by Nutrition and Health Programs 
837,893
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs 
398,148
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 2019, the security situation worsened, and risks for humanitarian workers increased.

Across the three crisis-affected states of Borno, Jigawa and Yobe, 7.9 million people - out of a total population of 13 million – will need humanitarian assistance in 2020, representing an 11% increase from 2019, primarily due to rising violence and insecurity. The number of food-insecure people increased to 3.8 million and 1.1 million women and children are in need of immediate nutrition services or treatment for malnutrition.

It is estimated that more than 1.2 million people, including 971,000 in Borno State and 244,000 in Yobe State, are in areas that are inaccessible to international humanitarian organizations.

In 2019, Action Against Hunger reached more than two million people across Borno, Jigawa, Yobe and Kano States. Through our nutrition and health interventions, we reached the most vulnerable populations with reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services.

At the heart of our work are both nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs. We implemented an intregrated WASH'Nutrition strategy as well as food security and livelihood interventions to fight the root causes of hunger by addressing food production, access, and income issues through emergency, recovery and resilience programming, cash assistance to vulnerable people in Borno and Yobe, and much required policy initiatives around social protection.

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.”