We have been working in Nigeria since 2012. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and its influence spreads across the continent. Yet, inequality and insecurity have consistently undermined Nigeria's development — and therefore the region's stability. Roughly 70 percent of the country lives in poverty, and in many areas as many as 80 percent of women are illiterate.
The growing threat from Boko Haram only exacerbates significant ethnic and religious violence that stems from income inequality and conflict over diminishing natural resources. Learn more about the hunger crisis in the Lake Chad region ▸
Many areas in northeast Nigeria are at risk of famine and at least 55,000 people are already experiencing famine-like conditions in Borno State, Nigeria alone. 5.1 million people are in urgent need of food assistance. Conflict provoked by Boko Haram has displaced approximately 1.6 million people, and farmers who have been displaced are unable to return to their homes to plant crops.
Low crop yields and high staple food prices, combined with political unrest and chronic underdevelopment, means that millions of people will continue to have urgent food needs. Get the quick facts about famine ▸
It's critical that we help communities address tensions and prevent marginalized populations from being exploited and participating in destructive behaviors. At the same time, we respond to immediate humanitarian needs of households affected by conflict through emergency assistance. We particularly focus on supporting young women, so they can participate in and contribute equally to their country in positive ways.
- Conflict & Governance: Working to reduce tension between pastoralists and farmers, as well as different religious groups, to promote local livelihoods and economic growth.
- Children & Youth: Implementing adolescent girls’ learning and empowerment across the country to create safe spaces and build life and business skills, then link young people to job or business opportunities that enable them to earn an independent income.
- Economic opportunity: Helping families access financial services, like loans, and job skills to strengthen their ability to make informed economic decisions within their households.
- Emergency Response: Meeting the urgent needs of households affected by the conflict by providing cash assistance, food vouchers, water and shelter, while connecting them to income opportunities that help create long-term and long-lasting solutions.
All stories about Nigeria
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Nigeria: Starving children: Beyond the photos
Starving children often become the face of a hunger crisis. But behind every photo that captures the world’s attention is a picture that’s harder to see: a grueling sequence of politics, economics, war and disaster that ends, mercilessly, in a child with nothing to eat.
Guatemala, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia: Empower a woman, unleash a leader: Why we support young female entrepreneurs
We provide women and girls with resources to build better lives, because we know strong women equal strong families and communities.
Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen: Famine and food insecurity: What's at stake
Our Q&A with Food Security Advisor Kate McMahon discusses what famine means, how it's impacting areas of Africa and the Middle East, and why it's critical that we meet urgent needs to prevent even greater suffering.
Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen: Investing in an ounce of prevention
Humanitarian aid from the United States provides lifesaving assistance to millions of people in need around the world, yet it is in danger of dramatic cuts. Sign our petition to tell Congress to stand up for the world's most vulnerable people.
Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen: Tell Congress: Reject extreme cuts to humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid from the United States provides lifesaving assistant to tens of millions of people in need around the world, yet it is in danger of dramatic cuts. Sign this petition to tell Congress to stand up for the world's most vulnerable people.
Nigeria: The lifesaving power of cash
When 16-year-old Zulyatu was left alone to care for her siblings, Mercy Corps gave her a powerful tool to help keep them alive: cash.
Nigeria: The new threat for survivors of Boko Haram
For millions of Nigerians who've escaped the terror of Boko Haram, the struggle to survive isn't over. In their places of refuge a new danger lingers: hunger.
Nigeria: Nearly 2.5 million face starvation in Nigeria
An estimated 2.5 million people are at risk for starvation in areas of northeast Nigeria that were previously under Boko Haram control. We are working swiftly to respond to the crisis with food, water and other lifesaving aid.
Nigeria: How refugees get the job done in their new cities
From New York to Nigeria, refugees are breathing life into their new communities. The research bears it out: Refugees need work, but local economies also need refugees.