Nigeria emergency – over 2 million displaced Nigerians need your support

Northern Nigeria has experienced conflict since 2013, with towns and villages attacked by Boko Haram militia. Thousands of men, women and children have been killed, kidnapped or forced to abandon their homes to escape the incursions.

As families flee to Chad, Niger and Cameroon, they are relying on UNHCR for emergency assistance including shelter, water, food, medicine and counselling.

UNHCR teams are providing safe refuge for thousands of desperate refugees, but as the crisis escalates, displaced Nigerians need your support to survive.


Nigeria Homeless

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Your donation in action

Nigerian women queue to receive food at the Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon


Food Food

A Nigerian woman balances a 20-litre bucket of water on her head at a collection point in Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon


Kaltouma, 22, and her family bring their survival kit to their new shelter in the camp of Dar-es-Salaam


Supplies Supplies

Nigerian refugees leave Ngouboua on the coast of Lake Chad for the Dar-es-Salaam camp.

Get the facts about our impact

Food Food Food
Water Water Water
Shelter Shelter Shelter
Medicine Medicine Medicine
Education Education Education
Supplies Supplies Supplies
Safe Places Safe Places Safe Places

Providing Food 

Malnutrition is a common consequence of conflict and displacement. UNHCR works with the World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure that all refugees have access to adequate nutrient-rich food. UNHCR assists with the distribution of food rations in camps and provide urban refugees with vouchers and cash assistance for the purchase of food and groceries. In acute situations, UNHCR supports emergency nutrition and therapeutic feeding programs, supplying fortified milks and ready-to-use therapeutic foods.

As well as emergency food supplies, UNHCR provides regular food rations to Nigerian refugees who reach the camps in Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Providing Water

When people flee their homes, they often struggle to safely and easily access adequate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, endangering their health. UNHCR provides extensive infrastructure in refugee camps – wells, pumps, tap-stands and latrines – to meet refugees’ water needs and prevent disease. The water containers we provide as part of our basic survival kit enable displaced families to fetch and store clean water.

Maintaining an adequate water supply is an enormous challenge in remote desert locations. UNHCR workers truck water to refugee camps in Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

Providing Shelter

UNHCR provides refugees with emergency shelter — tents, tarpaulins and demountable housing — in the immediate aftermath of displacement. More broadly, we are responsible for site planning and camp management to ensure refugee settlements are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. For those living outside camps, UNHCR funds the rehabilitation of communal shelters, the construction of new homes and rental assistance for those in urban situations. UNHCR also provides materials that displaced people need to build a home themselves under self-help schemes.

UNHCR provides essential shelter items and relief supplies to help Nigerian refugees who have fled their homes with little more than the clothes on their backs. These include weatherproof tents, blankets, water containers and soap.

Providing Medication

UNHCR facilitates access to basic healthcare for refugees through camp clinics and local healthcare providers. Priority health services include emergency medical care for those who have suffered violence, reproductive services and treatment for infants and the elderly. UNHCR also coordinates immunisation programs to prevent the spread of diseases in crowded refugee settings.

UNHCR provides Nigerian refugees with emergency and ongoing medical assistance, including vaccinations against infectious diseases like measles.

Providing Education

Education is a crucial part of refugee relief, even in emergencies. School provides a safe and stable environment for children, restoring their sense of normality and routine, and allowing them to receive important health and safety messages. Education also helps people rebuild their communities and pursue productive, meaningful lives. Where refugees live in the community, UNHCR negotiates with governments to allow them access to local schools. In refugee camps, UNHCR promotes education for children and adults, operating schools and vocational training programs.

Education services provided by UNHCR ensure that Nigerian children in refugee camps can go to school. Their parents also receive livelihood training to help them earn an income and continue to support their family.

Providing Supplies

UNHCR distributes life-sustaining items such as mattresses, blankets, kitchen sets, jerry cans, stoves and fuel, soap and other sanitary items to refugees under its care. These supplies are tailored to the specific needs of the refugee population: for example, winterisation kits are distributed in camps and communities where sub-zero temperatures occur. UNHCR maintains global stockpiles of core relief items for immediate delivery in emergency situations.

Providing Safe Places

UNHCR operates safe spaces for the most vulnerable refugees. Children travelling alone are given special support and safe accommodation while UNHCR staff search for their relatives or carers. Throughout Europe, UNHCR works with UNICEF to operate ‘blue dot’ hubs for child and family support, providing child services, play areas and counselling. For displaced girls, safe spaces in refugee camps are essential for preventing abuse and exploitation. LGBTI refugees are also offered safe spaces to protect them from harm and discrimination.

Get the latest statistics on the emergency in Nigeria.

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