Rebuilding Lives and Livelihoods in Nigeria

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Impact of Insurgency on Northeast Nigeria’s Economy

Ongoing conflict in northeastern Nigeria has significantly disrupted agricultural activities, trade and other economic sectors, threatening livelihoods for many individuals in the region. Furthermore, the displacement of over 2 million people has strained resources and infrastructure. 
woman carries bag of food in Nigeria

Halima Mohammed carries a bag of food from a CRS-contracted local vendor in Gubio town, Borno state, Nigeria. 

Photo by Dorathy Okaba/CRS

In 2016, Maina Mustapha Alhaji, a small business owner in Gubio town, Borno State, fled with his family after a series of attacks in Boko Haram. With no business or possessions, he faced the daunting task of providing for his family.
“I struggled to make ends meet. Even feeding my family was a problem because I lost everything I had during the attack,” Maina says.

Kaka Bura Hassan: A Vendor’s Struggle and Resilience

shop owner in Nigeria

Kaka Hassan packs a bowl of beans at his shop in Benishek, Borno State, Nigeria. 

Photo by Dorathy Okaba/CRS

Kaka Bura Hassan, a food vendor from the Benishek community, relocated to Maiduguri with what little remained of his assets, seeking a fresh start. But his attempt to build a new business failed as he struggled to support himself with loans.

Local Vendors Responding to the Food Crisis

Catholic Relief Services’ Improved Access to Lifesaving Emergency Response, Recovery and Timely Support project is delivering urgent food assistance to families who have been affected by conflict. Through this approach, the project offers training and tools that enable vendors like Maina and Hassan to easily accept electronic food vouchers from project participants.
owner inside his shop in Nigeria

Maina stands inside his shop in his hometown of Gubio, Nigeria. 

Photo by Dorathy Okaba/CRS

In 2018, after the camp where Maina was living shut down, he returned to his hometown. Fortunately, he was able to become a CRS food vendor—supplying his shop with a variety of food for monthly distribution. In this new role, Maina’s living conditions improved: his business expanded, profits soared, his children returned to school, and he was able to hire four employees. With CRS’ support, Maina is now one of the most popular vendors in Gubio’s local market.
Just like Maina, Hassan also heard about the CRS vendor program and decided to apply. He was selected for training and provided with the support and resources needed to rebuild his life. Hassan was able to pay off his loans and acquire more economic assets, paving the way for a brighter future for himself and his family.
"Looking back at where I came from, I am grateful to CRS for providing me with the opportunity to participate in the food distribution program. CRS has enabled me to overcome hardship. Now I can support myself and my family,” Hassan says.