Despite the complex risk environment, Nigeria is committed to making progress toward establishing a more stable democracy, addressing variables that reduce extreme poverty, and strengthening resilience.
Nigeria is a regional power in West Africa, claiming the title of Africa’s largest economy and most populous (nearly 200 million people) country. It has held democratic elections since 1999. Nigeria also has one of the world’s largest youth populations and considerable natural resources. Nigeria’s income inequality has only worsened in recent years, in part from Boko Haram’s insurgency.
Despite these challenges, and with a range of strengths, Nigeria is committed to strengthening resilience, growth, and stability in its own country and beyond. Strengthening resilience in Nigeria will help enable sustainable escapes from poverty, enhance productivity by addressing malnutrition and displacement challenges, and begin to address the underlying factors fueling the country’s ongoing violent conflict.
Nigeria faces a set of distinct and ongoing conflicts, weak and often corrupt governance systems, and poor infrastructure. It is also confronting climate-related risks and significant inequality in access to economic opportunity. A considerable proportion of Nigerians remain in extreme poverty and cannot access basic services. All together these risks make millions of Nigerians vulnerable to food insecurity, poor health, and unemployment.
Nigeria is home to one of the world's worst and most complex humanitarian crises. The Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa insurgencies are undermining development efforts in the northeastern region. Meanwhile, conflict between farmers and pastoralists in Nigeria’s Middle Belt is on the rise too. Boko Haram’s insurgency is driven by factors that include weak government and security, marginalization, and religious motivation, while the Middle Belt violence is driven by factors such as environmental degradation, lack of clarity on grazing rights, and a weak government response to the violence. Large numbers of internally displaced persons and refugees face widespread insecurity, protracted displacement, depleted assets, and the interruption of agricultural production throughout the region, driving acute food security levels and reliance on humanitarian assistance.
In northeastern, Nigeria humanitarian action should be sequenced, layered, and integrated with longer-term assistance that aims to promote growth in the region and build up market systems and diverse livelihood opportunities. Efforts to strengthen resilience in Nigeria—both in the northeast and beyond—will also benefit from improving governance and restoring people’s confidence in government. Improved governance will support other activities that are key to improving resilience in Nigeria, especially in areas where displaced people are living or returning home.
Resilience programming, under the Buhari Plan, is focused on intensifying agriculture and strengthening markets; engaging the private sector; increasing youth employment; improving nutrition for women and children; and expanding the use of information and communication technology. These efforts aim to sustainably move people out of chronic vulnerability and poverty and toward a more prosperous future.
Opportunities for Building Resilience
Nigeria’s active private sector and its large youth population, in particular, are two areas with enormous potential to contribute to increased resilience.
Layering Cash into Market Systems Programs: Catalyzing Market-Driven Recovery in Nigeria
03 Nov 2023 - Mercy Corps , Sasha Muench
In the midst of crisis, the Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity used unconditional cash transfers to help households cope and jumpstart local economies.
Systems Knowledge Brief: Market Systems Resilience
15 Jul 2022 - The Resilience, Evaluation, Analysis and Learning (REAL) Award , Mercy Corps
Starting in 2020, Mercy Corps piloted measurement and analysis of market systems resilience (MSR), drawing on a framework developed by USAID, in four fragile and conflict-affected contexts. This brief presents the...
Nigeria Resilience Factsheet
17 Jun 2022 - USAID
Poverty and economic insecurity in Nigeria is compounded by endemic corruption, unresponsive governance, violent extremism, intergroup conflict, displacement and climate issues.
How Livelihoods Support is Bolstered by Social Sources of Resilience
20 Jan 2022, GMT -5 - Resilience Evaluation, Analysis and Learning (REAL) Award
How can aid interventions in protracted crises develop social resilience capacities?