General

Protection Sector Strategy – North-East Nigeria 2022-2023

The crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, hereafter referred to as the BAY states – is now in its 13th year and the protection as well as humanitarian needs linger. The crisis continues undiminished, and the affected population continues to face increasing hardship. They continue to live with great volatility and daily threats to their health and safety due to ongoing counterinsurgency operations, among other factors. Lack of protection and humanitarian intervention for the population in inaccessible areas remains a serious protection concern, while the closure of camps in late 2021 has also exposed the IDPs in camps around Maiduguri to further protection risks. The Protection needs are arduous, especially for women and girls, who still lack adequate protection and access to basic services, and are at risk of violence, abduction, rape, gender-based violence, forced and child marriage, and other violations of their rights. Child protection concerns are also enormous, especially for unaccompanied and separated children, and those formerly associated with armed groups or forcefully recruited to participate in the conflict.

The humanitarian and operational environment remains extremely unpredictable. Security has improved significantly in parts of Adamawa and Yobe States but in Borno State, all the major supply routes remain dangerous for civilians and humanitarian workers, as well as the delivery of humanitarian assistance by road. Humanitarian hubs and aid organizations’ offices have suffered regular attacks in 2021 and sustainable livelihoods have been hindered by the ongoing clashes aimed at liberating territories and locations where NSAGs are found. This has caused major food insecurity in north-east Nigeria. Protection and livelihoods are linked: women’s and adolescents’ livelihoods tend to be the most fragile, and females are at greater risk of engaging in negative coping mechanisms, such as sex work for food or other survival needs.

The protection environment remains one that requires an increase in funding, given that the humanitarian funding for Nigeria has been on a steady decline since its peak in 2017. The 2022-2023 Strategy will make the most of limited resources and capacity, as well as working with community-based structures to build their capacity to respond to some protection risks at their level. The strategy will ensure this is done collectively – targeting the most vulnerable, empowering local actors, and prioritizing protection response in view of the expected funding gaps.

Source: UN Children’s Fund