CRS in Nigeria
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the ninth most populous country in the world. The country has one of the highest population growth rates. The United Nations estimates Nigeria will contribute significantly to the total increase in the world’s population by 2050. The country is Africa’s major oil producer with the largest natural gas reserves in the continent, the sixth largest producer (and eighth largest exporter) of petroleum in the world, and has the tenth largest proven reserves. However, Nigeria faces several socioeconomic problems. Some of the most critical challenges to development in Nigeria are deeply entrenched poverty and unemployment, hunger, and burden of disease.
Nigeria is also besieged by violent conflict which has resulted in displacement and large-scale loss of life and property. The Boko Haram insurgency has resulted in a highly insecure environment in Northeastern Nigeria. In north central Nigeria, land use disputes between pastoralists and herders have increasingly resulted in the death of community members. These and other conflicts have led to an increasing number of internally displaced persons (IDPs). At present, Nigeria has the highest number of IDPs in Africa with an estimated 2.1 million persons displaced in 13 states (OCHA 2016), many of whom live in host communities and/or informal satellite settlements. Immediate challenges include food security; water, sanitation and hygiene; shelter; health services; and psychosocial support for displaced people and the communities that host them. Attacks on health facilities in the Northeast have forced health workers to either flee or shut down clinics and hospitals. This has led to a shortage of capable healthcare workers, has limited availability of healthcare services and supplies, and has restricted communities’ access to healthcare facilities. These conflicts and displacements have also disrupted agricultural production and trade, significantly impacting livelihoods for rural communities who depend predominantly on agriculture for household nutrition and livelihoods. There are several far-reaching social consequences of violent conflict as well, including the deterioration of the social fabric of communities along with trauma and mistrust.
People Served: 4,569,168
Population: 186,988,000 (Nov 2016 est.)
Size: 356,700 sq mi; about the size of California, Nevada, and Arizona
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Country News and Stories
October 13, 2016
Fleeing Boko Haram
It was November 2014, market day in Damasak, a trading town in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, and Moustapha Korimi was selling rice he had harvested from his farm. Moustapha Korimi fled 350 miles after Boko...
September 22, 2016
15 NGOs Urge U.N. to Make Boko Haram Response a Priority
CRS and others say funding needed to assist more than 6 million affected by Boko Haram.
September 19, 2016
Raising Literacy to Improve Harvests
For Nigerian subsistence farmers, education means access to products and services that can dramatically improve crop yields and family income.
September 19, 2016
Transforming Lives Through Agricultural Growth in Nigeria
Cash grants help subsistence farmers venture into commercial agriculture and begin realizing their dreams.
CRS' History in Nigeria
Catholic Relief Services began working in Nigeria in the 1960s and was active during the 1967 civil war in the area of emergency response. After the war, the Nigerian Government asked CRS and other international development agencies to leave the country. Thirty years later, with the return of democracy after years of military rule, CRS returned to Nigeria in 2000 at the invitation of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).
Currently, CRS works in three priority sectors: agriculture and livelihoods, health, and emergency response and recovery. CRS supports households, communities and farmer groups to increase their agricultural production and diversify their incomes, with programs in both Northern and Southern Nigeria. CRS has also launched an impact investing initiative to strengthen social enterprises and bolster sustainable, responsible economic growth in the country. In the health sector, CRS’ programs address HIV/AIDS, malaria, nutrition, routine immunization and polio eradication, and provide support to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and their caregivers. In response to the Northeast emergency, CRS is providing access to life-saving food; shelter; and water, sanitation and hygiene resources and services for IDPs and conflict-affected host communities. In fiscal year 2016, CRS supported over 4.5 million Nigerians. CRS and partners work in 32 of the country's 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with an extensive grassroots network and tremendous capacity to reach the rural poor.
With a history of health programming in Nigeria that spans over ten years, CRS implements a range of complex programs with support from a variety of donors and private funds and in partnership with the Catholic Church, other faith-based and community-based organizations, and government institutions. CRS has been a sub-recipient on the Global Fund’s HIV grant since July 2011, where it has achieved the highest performance rating among the National Agency for the Control of AIDS’ sub-recipient for two terms running. CRS also works as a sub-grantee with the Global Fund in support of malaria prevention and treatment. CRS works in partnership with State Ministries of Health (SMoH) and Local Government Areas (LGAs) to expand access and coverage of integrated vector control strategies, case management services and special prevention interventions. With funding from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, CRS provides intensive advocacy and program management training to the Association of Civil Society Organizations on Malaria Immunization and Nutrition.
Currently, CRS in Nigeria hosts two global USAID-funded initiatives. CRS hosts the country secretariat of the Core Group Partners Project (CGPP) that supports Nigeria’s polio eradication and routine immunization strengthening efforts at the community level. CGPP in Nigeria focuses on five northern states where children under five are at high risk of contracting the polio virus. CRS also hosts the Coordinating Comprehensive Care for Children (4Children) Project. The 4Children Project, a consortium of six organizations led by CRS, is designed to improve access to HIV-sensitive services for OVC and their households, and allow for their responsible graduation or transition from direct PEPFAR support. In Nigeria, 4Children provides technical assistance to 16 President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) OVC Implementing Partners and 33 States Government.
CRS Nigeria’s agricultural program started in Nigeria in 2009 with the implementation of the Emergency Rice Initiative funded by USAID as a two-year multi-country project aimed at boosting rice production in four countries in West Africa (Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal). CRS currently implements a multi-sectorial agriculture-led livelihoods project to empower very poor households. CRS supports households to increase their agriculture production and incomes, as well as improve comprehensive nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene education in response to livelihoods challenges faced by many farming households in Northwest Nigeria. The project distributes cash transfers to help the most vulnerable families meet nutritional needs, recover assets, and overcome barriers to generating income. CRS is fostering financial inclusion and access to financial services by forming and supporting savings and internal lending community (SILC) groups in northern Nigeria.
Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world, and the sector has tremendous potential as a driver for economic growth. Through funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CRS’ Strengthening Cassava Seed Systems and the follow-on BASICS program have focused on helping farmers improve revenue and food supply with high quality certified cassava stems through a traceable...