The crisis in northeast Nigeria is caused by an internal armed conflict, with the islamic terrorist group Boko Haram operating in the region since 2014. As a result, the region has experienced massive displacement, with over 3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the northeast, as well as 324,285 Nigerian refugees fleeing to Chad, Cameroon and Niger as of September 2021 (UNHCR).
While Boko Haram is typically concentrated in the northeast of Nigeria, the Islamist group insurgents have recently taken over multiple communities in north-central Niger state.
The living conditions of IDPs are dreadful, characterised by irregular and inadequate distribution of food, crude shelters, and poor health and sanitation services. This has made it more difficult for them to limit the risk of catching and spreading Covid-19.
Despite the return of Nigerian IDPs and refugees to accessible areas, the crisis remains critical. One of the most severe impacts of displacement is disruption to livelihoods, with people that can’t meet their basic needs due to lack of access to agricultural land.
In addition, the dislocation of families and destruction of basic infrastructure has meant that over 13 million children are out of school due to Boko Haram’s activities in north east Nigeria.