The humanitarian situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is critical. As a result of years of conflict, the majority of the rural areas in the three most affected states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe are empty. A large proportion of the population has fled to the relative safety of such state capitals as Maiduguri in Borno State, Yola in Adamawa State and Damaturu in Yobe State, or to other Local Government Area (LGA) capitals. In the IDP camps of Maiduguri and other settled LGA capitals, large portions of the population are extremely vulnerable and in need of immediate humanitarian support. While some areas have recently experienced returns in the proximity of major roads, the population from many LGAs is likely to remain displaced for the medium term, lacking security, shelter, and livelihoods in their villages of origin. When returns are made possible, it will be essential to support returnees in rebuilding their homes, which were, at most destroyed beyond repair, and resuming their productive lives and livelihoods.
Since November 2016 to date, iMMAP has been providing information management support to ten humanitarian sectors responding to the crisis in northeast Nigeria, with a grant from USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). The support has made it possible for iMMAP to identify, deploy and maintain a dedicated team of highly experienced Information Management Officers (IMOs) who support the humanitarian clusters/sectors and their partners. The main objective of the support was to strengthen the IM capacity of clusters in their response; to advance the mechanism for regularly identifying the needs of the people affected by the crisis; and to facilitate availability and access to quality, timely data to support the humanitarian coordination mechanism led by UN-OCHA.
The Boko Haram insurgency over the last eight years has victimized an already vulnerable population in northeast Nigeria. To date, the conflict has already caused more than 20,000 deaths, massive displacement, food shortages, malnutrition, human rights violations, the collapse of basic services, and disease outbreaks, including enormous pressure on host communities.
A recent Humanitarian Situational Update (UNOCHA, June 2018)
indicates that in the three worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe, 1.7 million persons are internally displaced, and human rights violations continue to be reported daily. The food security and nutrition situation remains concerning as the conflict continues to limit the amount of land under cultivation, and with the lean season underway, the situation is set to worsen. The number of people estimated to be facing critical and crisis food and nutrition insecurity levels, under Integrated Phase Classification levels three and four (IPC 3 and 4) is projected at up to 3 million people by the end of August 2018. The Buhari Plan
for Rebuilding the North East, published by the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative (PCNI 2006, Vol. I, Sections I-III, pp. 73-74) emphasizes the importance of information management in crisis response in the region. Information management support is essential in augmenting the capacity of the humanitarian sector coordinators, many of whom have multiple responsibilities and lack Information Management (IM) capacity, which prevents an effective, well-informed humanitarian response.
Recent partner operational presence mapping
indicates a total of 94 partners implementing humanitarian activities in the northeast. These include 30 international NGOs; 21 national NGOs; 8 United Nations offices, agencies, funds and program; and others, including Red Cross and Red Crescent movements, and private actors. Effective information management remains essential, as it plays a central role and is necessary for informed, evidence-based decision-making necessary to respond to the needs of over 7.7 million people in need of life-saving assistance as indicated in the Humanitarian Response Plan
, January—December 2018. It forms the basis for coordination and decision making and will have a positive impact on how national and international resources are mobilized and utilized.