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A food distribution site in Nigeria

Humanitarian response in north east Nigeria

Over nearly a decade, the humanitarian crisis in north east Nigeria has become one of the most severe in the world: 1.8 million people remain internally displaced, human rights violations continue to be reported daily, and the food security situation remains extremely concerning.  

Christian Aid’s humanitarian response in north east Nigeria started in late 2016 and has expanded rapidly due to increasing intensity of an insurgency. We work in Maiduguri city and Dikwa, Munguno Magumeri, Askira Uba, Shani and Gubio local government areas.  

Through civil-military coordination and community engagement, Christian Aid workers and partners are working to expand the humanitarian space, build last-mile assistance, and increase the presence of humanitarians where vulnerable populations are living. 

Funded by various bilateral donors and an appeal by ACT Alliance members, the response has focused on food security and livelihoods, including food distribution and feeding programmes for pregnant women, new mothers and very young children.

The programme has also provided life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene work, constructing and fixing boreholes, building and maintaining toilets and showers and has also provided protection and psychosocial support for affected communities. 

Kellumeri village borehole supported by Christian Aid

Our aims

Christian Aid is providing emergency life-saving assistance and promoting recovery, building resilience and strengthening communities in conflict areas of north east Nigeria.

Our approach

Emergency life-saving assistance involves providing food and nutrition support for malnourished children under two years old. Pregnant women and lactating mothers also receive food support, while people in communities with working markets are given cash to buy food.  

Communities have better access to safe water for their families through the construction and rehabilitation of water points and water users’ committees have been formed to support their operation and maintenance. Temporary sanitation facilities have been built, which are gender-segregated and accessible to people with disabilities. Teams are being trained and supported with equipment to manage the sanitation facilities to keep them clean and usable.  

Kellumeri village laterine supported by Christian Aid

Key information


Borno State, north east Nigeria.


Late 2016 - present

Programme value:

£6m approximately ($7.7m) to date 

Target population:

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and host communities, including woman-headed households, pregnant women, new mothers, children, people with disabilities

Christian Aid has distributed non-food kits containing household and day-to-day essentials, as well as energy-efficient cooking stoves to communities in IDP camps. This fosters protection as community members no longer need to look for fuel in remote and dangerous areas. 

As part of the programme, we are supporting communities to start a recovery process especially in areas with fewer security challenges and where communities can access land and markets. This is being done through livelihoods projects and the promotion of food production. Through funding from Dutch agency ICCO as part of our joint response, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) communities are working on agricultural and non-agricultural livelihoods activities, including micro-gardening, rain-fed agriculture and dry season irrigation initiatives. 

Christian Aid is prioritising issues of protection by promoting inclusive programming and creating awareness of Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS) and humanitarian principles.  

Key achievements

In 2018, more than 1.3 million people received food through our distributions, more than 231,000 children under 2 benefited from the Blanket Supplementary Food Programme and 130,765 pregnant women and new mothers were supported with supplementary feeding with support from  the WFP and Nigeria Joint Response 4 - a multi-agency humanitarian response project. 

Livelihood and recovery work supported 12,400 households (more than 74,000 people) with agricultural-based inputs for rainy season farming with funding from FAO. 

More than 15,000 people in IDP camps benefited from Christian Aid’s water, sanitation and hygiene work.

Visit Christian Aid in Nigeria
Sangaya IDP Camp

Reports and resources

Christian Aid Nigeria programme strategy: 2019-2026

An overview of the vision, mission and strategy of the Christian Aid Nigeria programme for 2019-2026.

Christian Aid Nigeria programme strategy 2012-17

An overview of the vision, aims and activities of our Nigeria country programme.

Christian Aid Nigeria Annual Report 2018

The very latest updates and information from our country programme in Nigeria

Baseline Survey of Early Warning and Early Response Systems

This report is a baseline survey on the early warning and early response systems in Benue, Kaduna and Plateau States.

Giving Hope to People in Conflict

Christian Aid Blanket Supplementary Feeding Program (BSFP) project provided immediate life-saving food and nutrition assistance to breast-feeding a

Press release: changing the course of under-five mortality in Nigeria

Our Partnership for Improved Child Health (PICH) project in Nigeria closed in August 2019. Find out what we achieved and how communities have adapted.
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North East Nigeria Humanitarian Response
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