For the past eight years, children and families in Nigeria have faced unspeakable brutality at the hands of terrorist group Boko Haram. The widespread violence has forced millions of people to flee their homes to neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
For many families, finding a safe haven where they can stay together is a constant struggle and with so many seeking refuge, access to food and water is a growing problem. According to The Guardian, more than 11 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian aid across the region.
SOSUK has been working in this part of West Africa through our sister organisations for more than 40 years, so our staff were already on the ground and able to respond quickly with emergency support as soon as the crisis escalated. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, our SOS teams are providing emergency medical, psychological and nutritional support to children and families across the region. We are also working with state agencies to help reunite thousands of displaced children with their families.
The violence has left an estimated 3 million children in dire need of educational support – with nearly three out of every five schools in Nigeria forced to close, according to the latest United Nations figures. Through our Child Friendly Spaces in Diffa and Maïné-Soroa in Niger, we are able to provide emergency education for children fleeing the violence, as well as offering essential nutritional support for those suffering from acute malnutrition.
Earlier this year, our sister organisations also extended our emergency aid to families still living in northern Nigeria – where an estimated 1.4 million people have been internally displaced at the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency.
National Director SOS Children’s Villages Nigeria Eghosa Erhumwunse said: “Our priorities include child protection, supporting victims of sexual and gender-based violence, and helping to provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene.”
With your help, we can continue to provide emergency support to families and children caught up in the violence in Nigeria and the surrounding region.