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Country analysis

Nigeria


Insurgent attacks by Boko Haram and the Islamic State – West Africa Province in northeastern Nigeria, ‘banditry’ violence in the northwest, farmer/pastoralist conflict in the Middle Belt, and a growing Cameroonian refugee population in the south have contributed to a complex humanitarian crisis in the country. In southeast Nigeria, the Indigenous People of Biafra and their affiliate Eastern Security Network are pushing for secession from the rest of the country.

Ethno-religious differences have led to tension between geopolitical zones in northern and southern Nigeria. The high levels of ethnic and religious intolerance often explode into violence whenever there is a trigger, such as political incitement by leaders. Economic factors, such as unemployment, high inflation, and poverty, also drive insecurity countrywide, as some youth join criminal gangs and militant groups for economic survival.

Conflict in different parts of Nigeria has also led to internal and international displacement; disrupted livelihoods, such as farming; and contributed to food insecurity.

Climate change has resulted in land degradation and increased competition over scarce fertile land, contributing to farmer-pastoralist conflict. It has also amplified the intensity of natural disasters.

(The Africa Report 02/01/2023, Irene et al. 05/2022, CFR 09/06/2022, OCHA 09/02/2022, News Security Beat 15/11/2021)

Insurgent attacks by Boko Haram and the Islamic State – West Africa Province in northeastern Nigeria, ‘banditry’ violence in the northwest, farmer/pastoralist conflict in the Middle Belt, and a growing Cameroonian refugee population in the south have contributed to a complex humanitarian crisis in the country. In southeast Nigeria, the Indigenous People of Biafra and their affiliate Eastern Security Network are pushing for secession from the rest of the country.

Ethno-religious differences have led to tension between geopolitical zones in northern and southern Nigeria. The high levels of ethnic and religious intolerance often explode into violence whenever there is a trigger, such as political incitement by leaders. Economic factors, such as unemployment, high inflation, and poverty, also drive insecurity countrywide, as some youth join criminal gangs and militant groups for economic survival.

Conflict in different parts of Nigeria has also led to internal and international displacement; disrupted livelihoods, such as farming; and contributed to food insecurity.

Climate change has resulted in land degradation and increased competition over scarce fertile land, contributing to farmer-pastoralist conflict. It has also amplified the intensity of natural disasters.

(The Africa Report 02/01/2023, Irene et al. 05/2022, CFR 09/06/2022, OCHA 09/02/2022, News Security Beat 15/11/2021)

Latest updates on country situation

13 February 2024

26.5 million people are projected to face food insecurity in 2024 in 26 assessed states of Nigeria (out of 36). The main drivers of food insecurity include the change in seasonal patterns affecting agriculture; conflict and insecurity; poverty; and increasing inflation affecting people's access to food. On 6 February, food inflation triggered protests in central Niger and northwest Kano states. As at December 2023, food inflation reached 33.93% – an increase from 23.75% in December 2022. Poor food consumption resulted in acute malnutrition among 4.41 million children, including 1.04 million severely malnourished in northeast and northwest Nigeria. Persistent food insecurity and poverty have also aggravated various protection concerns, compelling people to resort to negative coping mechanisms such as engaging in survival sex, begging, and child labour.
(OCHA 13/11/2023, IPC 17/10/2023, Government of Nigeria 06/02/2024)

06 December 2023

There has been a surge in diphtheria cases in Nigeria since July 2023. January–November recorded over 10,000 confirmed cases, including 558 deaths. Most of the cases involve children and adults who are not fully vaccinated. Security concerns and a global vaccine shortage are contributing to the decline in vaccination rates. As at November, 2.2 million children were in need of vaccination. (WHO 04/12/2023, MSF 27/11/2023, OCHA 20/11/2023)

17 October 2023

Since early October 2023, heavy rainfall has led to flooding along the Niger River and Benue River Basin following rising water levels in Lagdo Dam in neighbouring Cameroon. In Adamawa state, the floods have killed about 33 people, displaced over 50,000, and resulted in significant infrastructure damage. Immediate needs include food, shelter, NFIs, and WASH services. (CCCM Cluster 13/10/2023,
Daily Post 10/10/2023, FEWSNET 13/10/2023)

18 September 2023

A diphtheria outbreak declared on 20 January 2023 continues in several states of Nigeria. Between May 2022 and early September 2023, over 6,000 cases were confirmed. Between June–August, over 5,800 suspected cases were reported, 4,000 of which were recorded in August only. Many of these cases are from Kano state, where over 280 patients are being admitted weekly in treatment centres. Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, and Yobe states have also reported diphtheria cases. A worldwide shortage of treatment given low production capacity and low national vaccination coverage could further worsen the outbreak. As at September 2023, only about 70% of children had received their first vaccine dose. Diphtheria is transmitted through direct contact or air droplets and has a higher death rate in settings with poor access to treatment, particularly among children.
(MSF 19/09/2023, WHO 13/09/2023,
UNICEF 19/09/2023)

17 July 2023

On 14 July, a state of emergency was declared in Nigeria following high levels of food insecurity. Increased food prices caused by the removal of the fuel subsidy, protracted conflict, and limited humanitarian presence in North West and North Central Nigeria are driving high food needs during the lean season (June–September). (IRC 17/07/2023
VoA 14/07/2023
FEWS NET 11/07/2023)

20 June 2023

Since early 2023, severe cases of malnutrition among children have worsened in Borno state. Nutrition surveillance data from March–April 2023 shows a deteriorated nutrition situation in five local government areas in the state, including Bama, Gwoza, Magumeri, Ngala, and Nganzai. In Maiduguri, the number of children facing moderate and severe acute malnutrition admitted in stabilisation centres has increased, from 75 per week in January to about 150 in April, representing a 48% increase compared to the same period in 2022. As it is the lean season (May–September), these figures may continue rising in the coming months. Consecutive prolonged lean seasons, acute food insecurity, extreme flooding in 2022, infectious disease cycles, and poor living conditions in camps further aggravate the situation. Currently, an estimated two million children in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states face acute malnutrition in 2023; 700,000 of them are at risk of severe acute malnutrition. (MSF 26/04/2023, OCHA 17/06/2023, Nutrition Cluster/UNICEF 09/06/2023)

09 March 2023

In 2021, 7.3 million women and girls in Nigeria of ages 15–49 were undernourished – a 30% increase compared to 2018. Undernourished women and adolescent girls face increased risks of fatal complications during pregnancy and childbirth because of weakened immunity. They are in need of nutrition assistance. Undernutrition remains a problem in the country at the same time that it experiences conflict, high levels of poverty, and a food crisis.
(UNICEF 07/03/2023, UNICEF 03/2023, BBC 08/03/2023)

current crises
in Nigeria


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

NGA001 - Complex crisis

Last updated 29/01/2024


Drivers

Conflict
Displacement
Violence

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.9 High

Access constraints

4.0

NGA003 - Middle Belt

Last updated 29/01/2024


Drivers

Violence

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.4 High

Access constraints

2.0

NGA004 - Lake Chad basin crisis

Last updated 29/01/2024


Drivers

Conflict
Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

4.2 Very High

Access constraints

4.0

NGA007 - Northwest Banditry

Last updated 29/01/2024


Drivers

Violence
Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.7 High

Access constraints

3.0

NGA008 - Cameroonian Refugees

Last updated 29/01/2024


Drivers

Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

2 Low

Access constraints

2.0

REG001 - Lake Chad basin regional crisis

Last updated 31/01/2024


Drivers


Crisis level

Regional

Severity level

4.2 Very High

Access constraints

3.0

Analysis products
on Nigeria

Nigeria: conflict in the northeast and northwest

03 January 2024

Nigeria: conflict in the northeast and northwest

DOCUMENT / PDF / 201 KB

Violent incidents reported include attacks, kidnapping, and extortion by non-state armed groups (NSAGs), such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State – West Africa Province (ISWAP), as well as militias known locally as bandits.

Conflict and violence
Nigeria: country-wide flooding

21 October 2022

Nigeria: country-wide flooding

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

Since June 2022, heavy rainfall and strong winds have been severely affecting Nigeria. As at 6 October, flooding had affected 33 of its 36 states. As at 20 October, the crisis had displaced more than 1.4 million people and affected over 2.5 million. The floods have triggered a cholera outbreak in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe.

Natural hazards
Lake Chad Basin: Impact of extreme weather & climate events on food security

17 August 2022

Lake Chad Basin: Impact of extreme weather & climate events on food security

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

This report aims to explore the impact of extreme weather and climate events on the humanitarian situation in the Lake Chad Basin. Since the 1970s in West and Central Africa, river floods and agricultural and ecological droughts have been increasing while average rainfall has been decreasing. These phenomena have an impact on availability of resources and land, and consequently on the economic and living conditions of the regions’ populations.

Food security & livelihoodsNatural hazards
Nigeria and Niger: Cholera outbreak

18 November 2021

Nigeria and Niger: Cholera outbreak

DOCUMENT / PDF / 2 MB

This report highlights the impact of the outbreak considering the current conflict environment and other aggravating factors.

Health
Flooding in Chad, Niger and Nigeria

06 October 2020

Flooding in Chad, Niger and Nigeria

DOCUMENT / PDF / 367 KB

Heavy rains have caused extensive flooding in Chad, Niger and Nigeria since the onset of rainy seasons in June. Chad’s rainy season, expected to last until October, is the heaviest in the past 30 years. Flooding in Niger has affected almost twice the estimated population. Flooding in Nigeria is less widespread than in 2019, but is still significant.

Natural hazards
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