Since May 2013, the Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria has destroyed infrastructure, provoked dramatic livelihoods erosion and triggered the displacement of over 2 million people, out of which 1.4 million people are in Borno State. The humanitarian situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is critical. Following years of conflict, the majority of the state’s rural areas are empty. Much of the population has fled to the relative safety of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, or other Local Government Area (LGA) capitals. In the IDP camps of Maiduguri and other enclaved LGA capitals, large portions of the population are extremely vulnerable and in need of immediate humanitarian support. While some areas have recently experienced returns in proximity of main roads, the population from many LGAs is likely to remain displaced for the medium term, lacking security, shelter and livelihoods in their villages of origin. When returns are made possible, it will be essential to support returnees in rebuilding their homes, which are in many cases completely destroyed, and resuming their productive lives and livelihoods.

Since April 2017, REACH has been deployed to Nigeria to help meeting the information needs of humanitarian actors operating in the State and build a better understanding of the needs of conflict affected populations. Supported by EU humanitarian aid and in coordination with different humanitarian actors, REACH is carrying out the following activities:

  • Assessing IDPs’ movement intentions: REACH is assessing IDP intentions to return to their area of origin, move to a new location, or settle permanently in their current location in Borno State, while also looking into factors that are likely to influence IDPs’ decision to move, such as their current living conditions, separation from family members and access to information on their preferred future location. The assessment will help anticipate internal displacement flows and understand IDPs’ current needs, vulnerabilities, coping mechanisms, as well as future challenges.
  • Camp infrastructure mapping: REACH is collecting information on formal IDP camps in Borno State in order to support site planning and the effective distribution of humanitarian assistance.
  • Rapid assessments of informal IDP camps: REACH is profiling informal IDP camps in Maiduguri, Borno State, in order to better understand displacement dynamics of these IDP populations, while in parallel identifying common community services used by IDPs and barriers in accessing critical services.
  • Global WASH Cluster (GWC) Assessment: REACH will conduct a representative household Knowledge Attitudes and Practices (KAP) assessment using indicators established by the Nigeria WASH Sector and the GWC. This will be carried out in 8 Local Government Area (LGAs) capitals in Borno state.
  • Multi-sector Needs Assessment: REACH, with support from OCHA and Sector partners, will lead an MSNA across 8 LGAs in Yobe state from early September over approximately 6 weeks.

Further assessments will be conducted to understand conditions in remote areas of intended return and in those areas already experiencing returns. These will focus on supporting emergent field-level coordination efforts by NGOs, and will potentially include: community infrastructure mapping and assessment; partner capacity assessment and response monitoring; coordinated multi-sectorial or thematic needs assessments; and, market elasticity analysis and regular price monitoring.