Violence & Hunger in Nigeria


Conflict, Crisis and Hunger in North-East Nigeria

Northeast Nigeria is now the site of Africa’s largest humanitarian emergency, with 8.5 million people urgently needing humanitarian assistance and more than five million people expected to face severe food insecurity by mid-2017. Nearly two million people are displaced from their homes inside Nigeria and another 200,000 are seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Food insecurity continues to deteriorate. As the lean season sets in, the number of people facing food insecurity is expected to increase from 4.7 million to 5.2 million. Some areas could face famine conditions if humanitarian aid does not reach them—a constant challenge as aid organizations cannot access areas under Boko Haram control.

The Boko Haram insurgency has also spread across Nigeria’s borders. The Lake Chad Basin, which includes Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, continues to experience violence and displacement, with 17 million people affected, including 2.35 million who are displaced from their homes.

International Medical Corps has worked in Nigeria since 2013 and currently have teams in Sokoto, Kano, and Borno states. In Borno, the epicenter of the crisis in the northeastern corner of Nigeria, our programs include health, nutrition, water and sanitation, gender-based violence prevention and response, and food security. We are also responding to emergency needs of displaced populations in Chad and Cameroon. Our interventions target both communities and health facilities and include training wherever possible so that knowledge and skills remain long after our inventions end.


  • Ongoing conflict with Boko Haram has forced 2.35 million people from their homes in the Lake Chad region (Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger), with 1.7 million people internally displaced in North-East Nigeria.
  • 5.2 million are predicted to be food insecure in Nigeria by mid-2017, including 450,000 children under five suffering from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition.
  • Four polio cases were reported in Borno state in August, the result of populations living without vaccinations and access to humanitarian assistance because of the insurgency.
  • International Medical Corps is currenly working in Sokoto, Kano, and Borno states. Our programs include emergency health, nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, and protection.


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More on Our Response

In Nigeria, as well as in the surrounding regions of Niger, Chad, and Cameroon, security and humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate as people flee the violence and conflict fueled by Boko Haram.

In Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe states in Nigeria, an estimated 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. More than 50 percent of those in need are children. As part of our planned scale up in relief efforts in newly accessible areas, International Medical Corps began conducting food voucher distributions in Borno in September. These vouchers help families purchase food while supporting local markets and contributing to dietary diversity. International Medical Corps uses community volunteers to implement immunization interventions especially polio vaccination activities, for children under five years old. Our teams are also responding to nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, and protection needs of conflict-affected communities, including the internally displaced and host community members. To improve the health of moms and babies, we are also upgrading primary health care centers to increase access to antenatal care and safe delivery spaces and working within communities to provide postnatal care.

In Cameroon, International Medical Corps is delivering emergency medical, nutrition, and mental health care services to Nigerian refugees in Minawao camp. International Medical Corps also provides gender-based violence and child protection prevention and response activities for women, girls, and boys in the camp, which is home to some 56,000 Nigerian refugees. International Medical Corps also responds to the needs of Cameroonians displaced by ongoing violence in the Far North Region of the country with medical care, nutrition services, disease surveillance, gender-based violence and protection activities, and water and sanitation.

In Chad, International Medical Corps collaborates with the Ministry of Health to provide health centers with primary health care, maternal health, and nutrition support to over 20 health facilities in the Lac Region, where Boko Haram attacks continue to compromise the well-being of local communities. This includes managing the nutrition stabilization center at Bagasola Hospital and offering medical and nutrition services to Nigerian refugees in in Dar es Salam camp.