Abuja, 24 June 2021 – In a report released on Tuesday, the UNDP Nigeria said the conflict in the north-east could amount to the loss of 1.1 million Nigerian lives by 2030 if the current investment deficit in development is not addressed.
Since 2009, the devastating conflict in north-eastern Nigeria has directly resulted in the deaths of approximately 35,000 people as a consequence of insurgency. However, indirect deaths including disease and hunger resulting from the conflict’s physical and economic destruction, already far outnumber those from direct causes, the report warns.
The study, Assessing the Impact of Conflict on Development in north-east Nigeria, also says that critical aspects of progress and development, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP), poverty, malnutrition, infant mortality, education, water availability and sanitation, may not return to pre-conflict levels even by 2030.
Findings from the report show that for each casualty caused directly by insurgency, an additional nine people, primarily children, have lost their lives due to lack of food and resources. As a result, more than 90 percent of conflict-attributable deaths are of children under the age of five.
The report further notes that physical and economic destruction wrought by the insurgency has dismantled already fragile health and food systems. Less than 60 percent of health facilities in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states are fully functional, while a quarter are either completely destroyed or non-functional.
Attacks from insurgency have also led to massive internal displacement. More than 1.8 million Nigerians are displaced in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states, with the vast majority (nearly 1.5 million) located in Borno. In addition, 1.8 million students were out of school in 2020, and without increased investment in development efforts, the average Nigerian in the north-east will have lost a full year of education by 2030.
While the Government of Nigeria has made great strides in retaking and stabilizing large areas of the region, continued investment in development from both national and international stakeholders is needed. “Without continued investment in development as a long-term solution, the protracted conflict in north-east Nigeria will continue to impact other parts of the country and the entire Sahel region,” said UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Mohamed Yahya. “There is a need for international partners and national stakeholders to ensure that funds are invested not only on life saving and humanitarian needs but also on mid- and long-term development priorities in order to enable Nigeria to achieve the SDGs and attain the AU 2063”.
The report findings suggest that to overcome the conflict, development efforts need to be focused on the stabilization of affected areas through a community level approach that enhances physical security and access to justice, rehabilitation of essential infrastructure and basic service delivery as well as revitalization of the local economy such as market stalls, schools and police stations.
This UNDP report, coming on the heels of a United Nations OCHA study, reinforces its findings that stabilization is the way to prevent upwards of 29 million people in the Sahel Region needing costly humanitarian aid.
- According to national data, conflict has directly resulted in the deaths of 35,000 people in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe as a result of battle or one-sided violence since 2009. The report estimates that through the end of 2020, the conflict in the north-east will have resulted in nearly 350,000 deaths, with 314,000 of those from indirect causes
- For every year that conflict continues, the burden is felt increasingly by infants and children. Every day of continued conflict, takes the lives of 170 children under five and by 2030, that grows to 240.
- In 2020, findings from the report estimates that 1.8 million students are out of school who would have been enrolled if not for conflict. By 2030, in the Conflict scenario, the average Nigerian in the BAY states will have had a full year (20 percent) of education less than expected in the No Conflict scenario
- As of 2019, 81 percent of people living in Yobe, 64 percent in Borno, and 60 percent in Adamawa suffer from multidimensional poverty, a measure that accounts for deprivation with respect to standards of living, health, and education
- As of 2019, 81 percent of people living in Yobe, 64 percent in Borno, and 60 percent in Adamawa suffer from multidimensional poverty, a measure that accounts for deprivation with respect to standards of living, health, and education.
- Women and children make up 80 percent of the displaced population in the north-east and have limited options for work and survival, including difficulties accessing resources.
Alison Clement, UNDP Nigeria, Head of Communications
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The Executive Governor of Borno State, H.E. Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator to Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Catriona Laing CB, the Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Cécile Tassin-Pelzer, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Mary Beth Leonard, the Canadian Acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Nicolas Simard, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Mr. George Steiner, the World Bank Group Country Director, Mr. Chubham Chaudhuri, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative, Mr. Ari Aisen and the UNDP Nigeria Resident Representative, Mr. Mohamad Yahya, witnessed the unveiling of the report yesterday in Maiduguri.
For a full copy of the report, please download here.