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Nigeria: Displaced Boko Haram victims battle for survival

Nigeria: Displaced Boko Haram victims battle for survival


Nigerians displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s northeast are struggling to build businesses from scratch in order to support their families while hoping to return home someday.

Over 2 million people have been displaced and 15,000 killed in a seven-year insurgency in which the Islamist group tried to create a state adhering to sharia, Islamic law.

“Most of us in this camp lost our husbands in the conflict. We have many children who have daily needs and no money to take care of them,” a displaced civilian, Aisha Adamu said.

Many of those displaced had arrived the camps without money or possessions. They have been surviving thanks to the support of the government and non-governmental organisations.

The skills acquisition scheme was introduced by the National Emergency Management Agency few months ago so as to help displaced persons get training in various fields.

“We don’t want to make a market, within the IDP settlement for some security reasons. But we always encourage, if they can have an outlet somewhere that would be very good so that they can easily take their materials into those outlets and then sell before coming back to the camp,“Saad Bello, Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency in Adamawa said.

Displaced families complain that living conditions are poor, and the United Nations says many of the makeshift shelters are overcrowded and substandard in terms of water and sanitation facilities, cooking and privacy, especially for women.