UNHCR Nigeria Situation: At – a – Glance (December 2018)


UNHCR Nigeria strategy is based on the premise that the government of Nigeria assumes the primary responsibility to provide protection and assistance to persons of concern. By building and reinforcing self-protection mechanisms, UNHCR empowers persons of concern to claim their rights and to participate in decision-making, including with national and local authorities, and with humanitarian actors. The overall aim of UNHCR Nigeria interventions is to prioritize and address the most serious human rights violations, including the right to life and security of persons. By applying a community-based approach, UNHCR furthermore seeks to contribute to an enabling environment to all persons of concern to fully access their rights, without discrimination, in accordance with the principles of international law, including international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.

Protection Monitoring and Response;

Supporting activities related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Psychosocial Counselling Provision of material assistance such as shelter, food and non-food items (NFIs);

Livelihood and Peacebuilding;

Camp Management Camp Coordination (CCCM) support;


Capacity building and Awareness-raising;

Return Monitoring,

Registration and documentation of new refugee arrivals, returnees and IDPs

Vulnerability Screening; and

Access to justice.


The month of December witnessed an increase in the number of incidents of attacks against Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in several Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in North-East Nigeria. Dozens of people including women and children were killed and others injured during incidents in which Non-State Armed Groups (NSAGs) vandalized and looted affected communities and humanitarian infrastructure including health services and other supplies, forcing aid workers to relocate to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital for further safety. The NSAGs also intensified their attacks on military positions with increased road-side bombings. While the security forces continue to make remarkable progress against the NSAG positions, the complexity of the security makes it unpredictable and increasingly volatile thereby narrowing the protection space for beneficiaries.

In addition to attacks by NSAGs, government counter-insurgency measures remained factors of new population displacements. The situation could drag on in the weeks ahead as the country prepares for elections in February 2019.

Notwithstanding the difficult operating environment and the increasingly precarious situation, UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies remain engaged where possible, through local partners and the rotational deployments of their national and international staff to deliver services to people desperately in need of protection and other life-saving assistance in the affected areas.

As the Protection-lead agency, UNHCR has maintained its advocacy for appropriate actions by government to address the physical protection of the displaced and to ensure that the civilian character of camps is not compromised. For example, reinforcing security in and around the camps and redeploying police presence and re-establishing civilian administrations in newly liberated areas to ensure that the civil liberties of the displaced are restored.

The agency continues to call on the military to ensure that the civilian character of IDP and refugee returnee communities are maintained. However, the absence of civilian authorities is compromising the ability of the military to balance between its counter-insurgency measures and providing civil administration.

By December 31, UNHCR and partners had supported about 432, 228 people affected by the crisis with services such as non-food items including sanitary materials for vulnerable women, shelter, livelihood, registration and documentation as well other forms of protection assistance including access to justice. Meanwhile, the number of people in dire need of assistance far exceeded those reached with assistance because of inadequate resources and limited access to some hard to reach areas.

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees