Boko Haram: protection issues for displaced and distressed women and children in Northern Nigerian cities
The Boko Haram insurgency has engulfed many parts of Northern Nigeria since 2010. About two million people have fled into urban areas around crisis zones. However, barely 10 per cent of these internally displaced persons (IDPs) are sheltered in formal humanitarian camps. The vast majority live on their own, facing difficulties in accessing food, education, healthcare and shelter. Harassment and stigmatisation exacerbate their suffering in urban areas. This paper explores the difficult situations facing IDPs in the major urban areas of Kano and Maiduguri, focusing on women and children. It highlights gaps in policy, philosophy and practice. Fragmentation and inter-agency rivalry has crippled local intervention programmes, and protection for displaced people urgently needs to be strengthened through institutional reforms and collaborative problem solving.