• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 649,000 People displaced [?]
  • 1,728 Fatalities reported [?]
  • 4,784,000 People in Need [?]

Special Reports




In North West Nigeria, unidentified armed men have attacked civilians, engaging in criminal activities including village raids, sexual violence, kidnapping for ransom, killing, and large-scale cattle rustling. The criminal groups have jeopardised the livelihoods of about 21 million people living in Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, and Zamfara. There is concern that militant extremist groups such as Boko Haram might have influenced these criminal groups either directly or indirectly. Such influence may have caused the rise in school abductions observed since 2020 December. A boom in weapons trade in this area has also encouraged the growth of criminal activity. There have been reports of activities such as village raids, cattle rustling, and attacks on farmers overlapping with farmer-pastoralist violence.?

The population of North West Nigeria has high pre-existing socioeconomic vulnerabilities. They have higher illiteracy levels and poverty rates than the rest of the country. Sokoto and Zamfara have poverty rates of 87%, well above the national average of 40%. By 2017, the literacy level among women aged 15–24 in North West Nigeria was 38% – the lowest in the entire country.?

The violence in North West Nigeria has resulted in an estimated 80,000 refugees crossing the border into the Maradi region, Niger, since 2019. At least 453,000 people have also been internally displaced. Only 17% of IDPs are in camps, while the majority live with the host population.?

Latest Developments


No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

Key Concerns


Food and Livelihoods: There has been widespread loss of farmland, livestock, and livelihoods as a result of banditry. 6.1 million people in North West Nigeria are projected to face IPC 3 and above food insecurity outcomes in June–August 2022.?

WASH: Both IDP camps and host communities have inadequate sanitation facilities and acute water shortages. Water sources are also contaminated during the rainy season, which raises the risk of cholera outbreaks or spread of the disease. Cholera is endemic in Nigeria.?

Health: Limited national investment in healthcare drives high health needs, with many health facilities in rural areas experiencing shortages in medical staff, medicines, and supplies. Patients’ access to health facilities is limited by travel concerns resulting from insecurity.? 

Protection: Because of banditry activity, besides general insecurity, women and girls are at risk of gender-based violence, and children (both female and male) are at risk of abduction. The elderly, pregnant women, children, and people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to health and protection concerns when they undertake long journeys on foot during displacement.?

School Abductions


Between March 2020–June 2021, over 1,400 students and staff have been kidnapped in several school abductions reported in northwest Nigeria. These abductions took place in Kankara and Mahuta (Katsina state), Kagara and Tegina (Niger state), Jangebe and Maradun (Zamfara state), Mando, Afaka, and Kasarami (Kaduna state), and Birnin Yauri (Kebbi state). While kidnappings by armed groups involved in the banditry crisis are motivated by ransom money and not uncommon in northwest Nigeria, mass abduction of schoolchildren by bandits is a new development in the region. Boko Haram had previously conducted mass abductions of schoolchildren in Chibok (Borno state) in 2014 and in Dapchi (Yobe state) in 2018. Evidence suggests that Boko Haram, which is mostly active in the northeast, collaborated with armed groups in some of the recent abductions in the northwest.?

With more than ten million children currently not attending school, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world. In northern Nigeria, only 53% of primary-school-age children receive a formal education, and the Nigeria Union of Teachers has expressed concern that the rising number of kidnappings could keep more children out of school. The mass abductions have led local authorities to temporarily shut down some schools. It is also highly likely that students who were kidnapped or who witnessed the attacks will need psychosocial support.?

Information Gaps


There is high likelihood that the number of IDPs has been underestimated. Since the majority of IDPs have integrated with the host population, it is difficult to verify their number, exact location, and needs.?