Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)3.90 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.3.20 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.3.80 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.4.40 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.4.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
Nigeria: Banditry violence and displacement in the Northwest
In northwest Nigeria, there are frequent attacks on civilians by groups of unidentified armed men, referred to locally as “bandits”, who engage in criminal activity including village raids, sexual violence, kidnapping for ransom, killing, and large-scale cattle rustling. About 21 million people living in Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Katsina states have been exposed to insecurity due to the activities of these groups. There is concern that militant extremist groups such as Boko Haram have influenced these criminal groups in northwest Nigeria, either directly or indirectly, and may have led to the rise in school abductions since December 2020. A boom in weapons trade in this area has also encouraged the growth of criminal activity.?
The violence in northwest Nigeria has resulted in an estimated 80,000 refugees having crossed the border into Maradi region, Niger since 2019. ?
08/09: On 1 September, armed men abducted 73 students from a secondary school in Kaya village (Maradun LGA, Zamfara state). Since March 2020, at least 1,400 students have been abducted for ransom in northwest Nigeria. The frequency of abductions has increased since December 2020. Zamfara has been one of the states most affected by these attacks, with around 419 students abducted. Frequent attacks by armed men in northwest Nigeria have hindered economic activities and affected the standard of living of the affected communities. In the aftermath of the attacks, schools are subject to closure and restrictions are imposed over travel and telecommunications for security reasons, temporarily limiting movement and access to education. Psychosocial support and counselling services for affected parents and students have been identified as a priority in the humanitarian response.?
In addition to displacement, the violence has hampered agricultural activities and heightened the risk of acute food insecurity.?
Livelihoods have been disrupted, as fear and insecurity among the population have increased. IDPs and host communities are competing for scarce resources such as water, land and food.?
Protection concerns are heightened for women, children and the elderly. Women and girls are at risk of gender-based violence while all children face the risk of abduction.?
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.?