West Africa humanitarian aid
The Red Cross is supporting vulnerable communities across West Africa and launching aid projects in Nigeria.
Last updated 7 December 2023
Nigeria: increasing numbers of people affected by the food crisis
An overwhelming 24.5 million people don’t have enough to eat in Nigeria. To make matters worse, people are struggling with a high rate of inflation at over 20% in the country.
Nigeria Red Cross staff and volunteers are on the ground supporting affected communities with health and nutrition services. Almost 100,000 people have been reached including pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to help ensure the health of new born babies. Food and livelihoods support, including cash and voucher assistance have also been rolled out to those in need.
The worst flooding in a decade
Last year, Nigerians were affected by the worst flooding in a decade.
People lost their livelihoods overnight as their farms flooded, livestock died or businesses were ruined. The flood waters also damaged homes, essential infrastructure and displaced over two million people from their homes in the worst affected areas. It will take a long time to recover.
Help support people in Nigeria
More than 160 million people in parts of Africa are now facing extreme hunger. Please support our vital aid work in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa.
Is climate change causing flooding in Nigeria?
Nigeria gets heavy seasonal rains. However, in 2022 the rain poured relentlessly from June well into November.
Climate change projections for Nigeria predict that increased rainfall will lead to greater risk and intensity of flooding. Along with countries like Pakistan, Nigeria is feeling the worst impacts of climate change, despite contributing to it the least.
Other factors have caused extensive damage after the floods in Nigeria: poor urban planning, inadequate drainage systems, and improper waste management. Poor maintenance of stormwater infrastructure and collapsed dams have also played a part.
How is the Red Cross supporting people in Nigeria?
The Nigerian Red Cross is one of the lead responders in Nigeria, with over 800,000 volunteers.
Across the country, the Nigerian Red Cross (NRCS) has mobilised over 5,000 volunteers and staff supporting authorities with evacuation, camp management, and humanitarian support. Volunteers have also been providing psychosocial support and first aid in Nigeria, as well as a hygiene promotion service to displaced people living in camps and other settlements.
The Red Cross is scaling up to support 500,000 West African people in the most affected communities with urgent shelter, food and hygiene items, and financial support. We will also provide health services and water and sanitation in the worst affected areas.
The NRCS is already responding to the food crisis in the northwest and north-central states of the country.
Staff and volunteers are working alongside the International Federation of the Red Cross and International Committee of the Red Cross, to reach more people through food distribution, financial assistance, and support with essential household items.
They are also supporting the people of Nigeria with seeds and tools for growing food and health services such as water and sanitation support.
Nigeria: building skills to save lives
With the conflict in the northeast of the country, the Nigerian Red Cross is called on to support thousands of people in desperate conditions. This is on top of their regular work in preparing for disasters, first aid, and other areas.
To help them do their best work, the British Red Cross supports the Nigerian Red Cross to improve their own projects. This includes looking at the way they plan, carry out and evaluate what they do. They can then learn from what worked well and what could be done better.
All Red Cross organisations around the world rely on volunteers to carry out our essential work. Nigerian Red Cross volunteers come from the communities they serve and often understand what the people in Nigeria need most.
Our support helps the Nigerian Red Cross to manage and train its volunteers and to communicate better with them. Using what they learn, volunteers can reach people in need more effectively.