Rebuilding Hope and Home
BBC: Boko Haram's Decade of Terror Explained
The Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) reported 14.8 million people have been affected by the Boko Haram violence in Northeast Nigeria. From 2014 through 2017, Boko Haram has been listed as one of the top five deadliest terrorist organizations in the world. Around 2.2 million people were displaced. Many are still living as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) or as refugees in Cameroon, Niger or Chad. Only about 8% of the IDPs have relocated to Nigerian government run camps or settlements. Despite the overwhelming needs of the crisis, the Nigerian authorities only provide aid to those in government run camps. The rest of the displaced people are living with family and friends or being supporting by church programs like EYN’s Disaster Relief Ministry and several other non-governmental organizations in the area.
There are many challenges facing the displaced families with the biggest issue being access to food. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates 2.5 million children are malnourished. It is very difficult for IDPs to grow any food or have any way of earning a living. Other major issues include access to clean water, waste sanitation, and violence against women (gender-based violence). Many people have returned to their traditional cities and villages to find churches, businesses and homes destroyed. More than 4000 widows have been identified. Many of the children of NE Nigeria have been out of school for years. Those returning to their homes live under the continual threat of suicide bombings, attacks on farmers and night raids on towns. Three states (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe) remain in a "State of Emergency" and the terror of another Boko Haram attack still looms large over this area in Northeast Nigeria.
Nigeria Crisis Relief and Recovery
The response of the US Church is amazing. Over 5.4 million dollars has been raised for this humanitarian crisis. Our response to Nigeria has saved lives, helped avert starvation and supported thousands of people through this horrific time. Even with this progress, the journey to recovery is still long and our support is desperately needed as we continue to help families and our sister church recover.
The determination, resiliency and faith of the Nigerian people is courageous and inspiring. 70% of those displaced in 2014, have returned home. Families from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and their neighbors have started the long journey to recovery and return to self-sufficiency. Even though security has improved, millions of Christian and Muslim families are still traumatized by this crisis. On top of the Boko Haram insurgency, Fulani herdsmen have been targeting Christian villages across Nigeria’s middle belt. Many have been killed and their homes and businesses have been destroyed.
The Nigeria Crisis Response is providing resources and tools so people can support themselves and restart their lives. EYN congregations continue to worship in temporary structures even while plans are underway to rebuild their beloved church buildings. With our support, repairs have been completed at EYN headquarters in Kwarhi; Kulp Bible College is holding classes and the Comprehensive Secondary School has reopened. With so much accomplished the Nigeria people and EYN families continually share their deep gratitude toward their American sisters and brothers.
Working in partnership with EYN and other Nigerian non-profit organizations, the major relief and recovery program is providing
- emergency food and supplies;
- drinking water;
- education for children;
- trauma recovery and peace building for all ages;
- seeds and fertilizer for agriculture; tools and resources for making a living;
- repair of damaged homes; and
- support of church leadership.