In 2022, the security situation has continued to deteriorate in Nigeria, particularly in the Northeast. The conflict between Nigerian armed forces and non-state armed groups, directly targeting civilians, intercommunal conflicts between herders and farmers and Lake Chad’s recession continue to cause large-scale internal displacements, and the destruction of infrastructures including health facilities. In hosting communities and cities, continuous and previous arrivals have saturated the already limited access to essential services, such as health and nutrition, threatening the physical and mental wellbeing of thousands of individuals and households.
According to the United Nations, in 2022, 8.4 million people need urgent humanitarian assistance in Northeast Nigeria, 80% of whom are women and children, with nearly 3.5 million people in need of food assistance, nearly 5 million health assistance, and more than 4 million in need of protection.
Description of the mission
Premiere Urgence Internationale has been operating in Northeastern Nigeria since 2016, when it opened its first field office in Maiduguri, Borno State’s capital. This region has been the scene of one of the most urgent protection crises of the African continent.
In order to meet the host and displaced populations’ most urgent and complex needs, the NGO has been implementing in the cities of Maiduguri, Monguno and now Pulka an integrated response strategy in health, nutrition, protection, psychosocial support, food security and livelihoods.
This comprehensive operational approach aims at identifying all the needs of the people affected by a crisis in order to implement a combination of solutions with a strong and lasting impact on the population, and the most vulnerable groups.
Premiere Urgence Internationale in action
In the past two years, Premiere Urgence Internationale has established itself as a major actor in the humanitarian response in northeastern Nigeria, more particularly in Borno State, where the NGO is implementing an integrated response to reduce morbidity and mortality among the most vulnerable. In close collaboration with beneficiaries, local authorities and traditional leaders, the organization leads projects in Maiduguri, in the hard-to-reach area of Monguno and, since 2022, in the deep field location of Pulka, where it is the only international health NGO.
In Maiduguri, Monguno and Pulka, Premiere Urgence Internationale provides supports to health centres, recruiting and training staff, providing drugs and medical equipment, ensuring communities free access to comprehensive primary health care, and sexual and reproductive health. In Maiduguri and Monguno, where malnutrition is thriving, the NGO ensures identification and treatment of acute malnutrition for children under 5 years old. Following a community-based approach, Premiere Urgence Internationale protection teams render gender-based violence cases management, psychosocial support, and disseminate information to develop awareness on a certain number of protection topics, such as child protection.
In 2022, Premiere Urgence Internationale aims at strengthening its response in the areas where it is already operating, and deploying in new hard-to-reach areas in the northeast, as close as possible to the people in need.
Nigeria: Première Urgence Internationale stands against gender-based violence
To fight against gender inequalities and violence against women and girls, Première Urgence Internationale is conducting several protection activities in Bolori II, Maiduguri, Nigeria. Since 2018, the NGO’s teams have trained a hundred volunteers that help convey messages within local communities. To ensuring that, in future, gender-based violence and inequality is no longer a taboo in this country.
Looking after body and mind: psychosocial support in Nigeria
To help people regain their independence, tending to psychological trauma is just as important as treating physical suffering or ensuring food security. In Nigeria, Première Urgence Internationale has implemented an aid program dedicated to victims who have been traumatised by the violence they have been through. Interview with Doctor Hazim Abdulkarim, mental health and psychological support Advisor in Nigeria.