As of 2 nd June 2020, there are 10,819 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria, increased by over 10,000 cases since the last NPSWG meeting which was replaced with information note on 7 th April 2020. Since the first case was recorded, 3,239 people have been discharged with 314 deaths. The regular bi-monthly meeting of the National Protection Sector Working Group (NPSWG) scheduled for 2 nd June 2020 was canceled in light of the pandemic. The NPSWG Secretariat will continue to monitor all developments related to COVID-19 and follow advice provided by the Nigerian Government and the World Health Organization. While information about upcoming meeting and its methodology will be shared with partners in due course in consideration for development of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the NPSWG meeting for June 2020 is substituted by this information note.
Protection Sector North East
• The Protection Sector has become aware of several reports of misconduct by security forces, suggesting the use of violence and harassment while enforcing COVID-19 movement restrictions in the North East. Relevant details were shared with CMCoord, and an advocacy note was produced providing details regarding incidents, key messages and how to report abuse of power.
• Protection monitoring activities carried out by partners highlighted the need for additional dissemination activities in order to reach marginalized communities, provide relevant information in different languages and formats, as well as counter rumors and misinformation. Protection monitoring indicates additional concerns as a result of COVID-19, which require attention and ongoing monitoring. These include, for example, increase in petty crimes within IDP camps as people are unable to access food and livelihood, as well as violence and hostile attitudes towards individuals who are, or perceived to be, infected by the virus.
• Borno authorities stated their intention to accept improvement of the IDP’s shelter situation as part of the effort to decongest IDP camps and mitigate the risk to public health. The Protection Sector provided input to the Decongestion Strategy shared by the Shelter Sector. While the Protection Sector recognizes the importance and urgent need to decongest IDP camps in order to promote the welfare of IDPs and public health amid the COVID-19 crisis, new areas must be safe and have adequate services, in particular shelter, clean water, food and access to healthcare and livelihood. As much as possible, transfer to another location as part of the planned decongestions should be carried out based on IDPs’ consent and preferences.
• In addition, the Protection Sector has become aware of some concerns in the context of COVID-19 isolation centers, for example, cases of children who are left without caregivers as a result of parents admitted to the centers or families that are suffering additional hardship due to the isolation of breadwinner. There is a need for specific interventions, as well as to nominate a focal point for each facility who can be contacted and make appropriate referrals. The Sector sought support for protection partners. In addition, the Sector is developing a guidance note regarding the protection and treatment of those held in isolation facilities.
• The Protection Sector held consultations with REACH regarding the MSNA 2020 and protection indicators are to be included in the survey. OCHA and REACH have requested the support of partners present on the ground in facilitating in data collection.
• The Protection Sector is leading the effort to harmonize different tools and methodologies used for protection monitoring in the Northeast. Hopefully, this will improve geographical coverage and information sharing between partners.
Source: UN Children’s Fund