Operation: Opération: Nigeria



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Key Figures

2020 year-end results
 489,915 individuals were reached through protection monitoring missions
262,912 IDPs, refugees and host community members in North-East Nigeria were reached through awareness sessions on peaceful coexistence, gender-based violence risk mitigation and COVID-19 risks
79,790 people of concern (15,958 households) were provided with core relief items
35,531 refugees in settlements received cash assistance for food
25,000 refugees were enrolled in the health insurance plan and had unfettered access to primary health care
24,542 people of concern were reached through gender-based violence prevention, risk mitigation and response activities
3,140 urban refugees received grants for food and core relief items to mitigate the effects of COVID-19
2021 plannig figures
 2,200 partner, government and UNHCR personnel will receive training on gender-based violence prevention and response
1,000 survivors of gender-based violence will receive psychosocial assistance
55 community-based committees and groups working on gender-based violence prevention and response will be supported
80% of IDPs households will receive basic and domestic items
60% of IDPs livelihood trainees will be employed 3 months after graduation

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2020 2,691,482
2019 2,269,468
2018 2,379,761


[["Refugees",66081],["Asylum-seekers",2788],["IDPs",2610278],["Returned refugees",12335]]
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2020 {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"budget":[40.906967547,79.767047754,80.40000002000001,93.06523573,90.61282518,97.66537484],"expenditure":[21.965234239999997,30.61301372,30.46963491,40.28442153,47.88603501000001,null]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[1.82155943,5.94289722,13.36027901,34.6076047,38.70181407,40.62313568],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,0.390718],"p3":[2.831582997,30.23548234,22.89000044,27.08602015,15.06266468,20.20350062],"p4":[36.253825119999995,43.588668194,44.14972057,31.37161088,36.84834643,36.44802054]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[1.18809322,2.46861358,11.30156782,20.0278546,22.07657532,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[1.5415473,15.801339050000001,7.63509863,4.576413929999999,3.47226049,null],"p4":[19.235593719999997,12.343061089999999,11.532968460000001,15.680153,22.3371992,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021

Operational context

The first half of 2020 witnessed a major escalation in hostilities between the military and various non-State armed groups in Nigeria.

8.9 million people, including 2.6 million IDPs, were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

2.6 million IDPs including 461,000 women, 371,000 men, 590,000 girls and 499,000 boys were displaced, 904,157 of which reside in IDP camps.

Over 63,000 Cameroonian refugees the majority of which are hosted in Cross River, Taraba and Benue, were also registered.

2,887 recognized refugees and 2,794 asylum-seekers lived in urban areas across South, Central and North Nigeria.

In North-East Nigeria, the number of people in need of urgent assistance rose from 7.9 million to 10.6 million, since the onset of COVID-19, and the protection environment for IDPs, returnees and host community members was seriously challenged.

Freedom of movement was negatively impacted by insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Population trends

  • In North-East Nigeria, 2 million IDPs remain in displacement, including 461,000 women, 590,000 girls, 371,000 men and 499,000 boys.
  • In the Middle Belt, there were 296,000 IDPs in Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau, of which 56% were under 18, 40% 18-59 years, and 4% 60+ years old.
  • In Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina, there was an estimated number of 187,000 IDPs.
  • 11,482 Nigerian refugee returnees were assisted to repatriate, of which 6,976 returned from Niger, 4,469 from Cameroon and 36 from Chad. 
  • 63,176 Cameroonian refugees were registered, of which 51% were children, 45% adults, 4% elderly, and 54% female.
  • 2,887 urban refugees and 2,794 asylum-seekers lived in urban areas across South, Central and North Nigeria.

Key achievements

  • 56,000 refugees got their temporary protection status extended. In addition, renewal of identity cards was commenced, and 1,623 asylum claims were reviewed.
  • UNHCR’s advocacy for the National Action Plan to eradicate statelessness resulted in the Federal Executive Council of Nigeria adopting it.
  • All asylum-seekers enjoyed access to territory without refoulement, despite the challenges of COVID-19.

Unmet needs

  • Shelter needs remained unmet throughout the year: 7,316 IDP families were sharing shelters; 22,805 families lived in damaged shelters; 976 families lived in the open; and 16,722 families lived in makeshift shelters.
  • The number of IDPs in need of core relief items such as kitchen sets continued to increase as a result of frequent displacements, with 84,314 families in need of non-food items.
  • Most survivors of gender-based violence were unable to access professional psychosocial counselling.
  • COVID-19 testing was very low in refugee-hosting States due to lack of testing capacity.

Use of flexible funding (unearmarked or softly earmarked funding)

  • In response to COVID-19, health care facilities received information, education and communication materials, personal protective equipment, thermometers, cold boxes, specimen collection kits and molecular and Abbott laboratory upgrading.
  • Cash for food benefited 35,531 Cameroonian refugees.

Working environment

Nigeria is currently facing a protracted humanitarian crisis linked to the insurgency in the North-East with continued internal displacements as well as refugee movements. According to the 2020-2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy, the number of persons in need of protection and assistance in North-East Nigeria stands at 7.1 million, including more than 2 million IDPs.
States in North-Central and in North-East are facing conflicts between herders and farmers, generating internal and refugee movements while the South-East is hosting more than 46,000 Cameroonian refugees fleeing the conflict between Cameroon’s central authorities and armed separatists. Although some refugee returns are expected in 2020, the conflict in Cameroon does not show signs of abatement.
Risks of statelessness are important due to lack of awareness on birth registration and acquisition of birth certificates amongst rural populations and refugees.
In line with the Global Compact on Refugees, UNHCR will continue to implement its protection and solutions strategy in coordination with partners such as the Nigeria’s National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs, the National Commission, the Nigerian Immigration Service and the State Government authorities as well as key humanitarian and development actors and donors, civil society and host community representatives. It will also advocate for refugees to be included in development planning such as the UNSDCF review and will encourage partners to expand their activities to cover refugee settlements and host communities, especially in Cross River, which is a “Delivering as one” pilot state.

Key priorities

In 2020, UNHCR will:
  • Develop a three-year strategic plan drawing from Government, development actors, UN agencies and NGOs to set out the strategic direction of the refugee programme and commitments of partners;
  • Continue to lead the protection sector working groups with the goal of creating and sustaining a protective environment, ensuring protection mainstreaming, and enhancing freedom of movement and humanitarian access;
  • Continue to lead the clusters for Shelter/Non-Food Items, and Camp Coordination and Camp Management;
  • Develop two new settlements and construct 2,000 shelters for refugees;
  • Raise awareness on sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and build capacity of partners and people of concern on this issue;
  • Continue to facilitate refugees’ access to education, skills training, micro-finance and health insurance;
  • Support local schools and recruit additional teachers to accommodate the number of refugee children being enrolled alongside children from host communities.
  • Support livelihood activities to enhance the self-reliance of the refugees and reduce their dependence on humanitarian assistance;
  • Focus its IDP activities on 11 local government areas in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Programmes in Borno will mainly benefit IDPs and IDP returnees while the programmes in Adamawa and Yobe will focus on refugee returnees;
  • Work with the State Government and other actors to implement the 2018 returns strategy for IDPs and refugees in Borno State, support improved access to services in the Northeast and advocate for the re-establishment of civil authority in return areas;
  • Organize the return of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon while continuing to support refugees who spontaneously return from Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria;
  • With the Government of Nigeria, advocate prima facie refugee status for Cameroonians (upon expiration of the two-year Temporary Protection Status) and unhindered access to asylum and protection in Nigeria;
  • Ensure registration and documentation (such as refugee status determination and ID cards) of all refugees and support their access to services and employment;
  • Maintain a two-pronged approach: an out-of-camp approach for refugees living in host communities and settlement approach for refugees who opt to live in designed settlements.
Latest contributions
  • 15-OCT-2021

    private donors

  • Germany
  • 14-OCT-2021
  • Qatar

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  • 12-OCT-2021

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  • Ireland
  • Italy

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  • 09-OCT-2021

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  • 08-OCT-2021
  • Japan

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  • 06-OCT-2021
    United States of America

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  • 05-OCT-2021

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  • Germany
  • 04-OCT-2021

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  • 01-OCT-2021

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  • Germany
  • 30-SEP-2021

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