The security situation in Nigeria in 2020, particularly in the northeast, continued to deteriorate, especially following clashes between armed opposition groups (known as “Boko Haram”) and the Nigerian army. The recession in Lake Chad has also contributed to the deterioration of living conditions for the population, increasing internal displacement and saturating access to already limited basic food resources for the host population. Access to land remains difficult throughout the country, where inter-communal conflicts between herders and farmers are on the rise and commodity prices continue to rise, causing increased food insecurity and malnutrition.
Recent findings show that approximately 7,9 million people in northeastern Nigeria were in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in early 2020, including 3,7 million who are food insecure. More than 5 million people are in need of health assistance, with two-thirds of health facilities in the Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States having been damaged by the conflict.
Description of the mission
Première Urgence Internationale has been operating in Nigeria since April 2016, where it deployed to Borno State in the northeast of the country. This region is the scene of one of the most urgent protection crises on the African continent. In order to best respond to the complex and interconnected emergency needs of the host and displaced populations in the cities of Maiduguri and Monguno, Première Urgence Internationale has put in place an integrated response strategy in health, nutrition, psychosocial support, protection, food security and livelihoods. The integrated approach is an innovative operational approach developed and implemented by Première Urgence Internationale. This method aims to identify and understand all the needs of people affected by a crisis. Its objective is to better target priority actions to stabilize and improve the situation of the most vulnerable groups, and to ensure the coordination of all actors in the field. It allows us to take into account all the dimensions of a problem, in order to propose a combination of efficient and effective solutions that will have a strong and lasting impact on the population.
Premiere Urgence Internationale in action
In 2020, Première Urgence Internationale has become a major player in the humanitarian response in the east of the country and more particularly in Borno State. This allows it to implement a comprehensive and integrated response to reduce the morbidity and mortality of the most vulnerable populations.
In Maiduguri, the NGO supports vulnerable populations through cash transfer activities deployed on a large scale among internally displaced persons (IDPs) and hosts. These food security and economic recovery and livelihood projects provide assistance by promoting dietary diversification and access to basic necessities through the distribution of electronic vouchers. In the remote area of Monguno and in Maiduguri, Première Urgence Internationale is implementing a health and nutrition response. These activities aim to provide a complete set of free primary health care services to the communities. The NGO also provides all the necessary drugs and medical equipment to the health centers and carries out mental health and psychosocial support activities.
Finally, Première Urgence Internationale ensures the logistical transport of cargo of humanitarian goods from Maiduguri to the remote areas of Lake Chad for more than 20 NGO partners, by assisting the United Nations airline. At the end of 2020, Première Urgence Internationale conducted an assessment mission among vulnerable populations in the northwest of the country, affected by land conflicts and the resurgence of armed groups.
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.