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The crisis in Nigeria

Imagine Boko Haram turning up in your village. You’ve not come face to face with them before – but you’ve heard the stories. The stories of violence, of suicide bombings, of kidnapping.  

Your life is in danger, your family is danger. You have no choice but to run.  

This situation is reality for millions of families in Nigeria.  

The violent rise of Boko Haram began in Nigeria in 2009, when the extremist group started an armed rebellion against the Nigerian government. Since then, the conflict has grown. It now spills over into the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon

Nigeria stats

But the rise of Boko Haram violence isn’t the only factor forcing families to flee their homes. The military offensive countering Boko Haram is also causing huge displacement. 

In total, 2.4 million families have fled their homes, leaving behind their crops and livelihoods. This has resulted in a food crisis, as more and more families move into poor areas and large refugee camps where shelter, food and water are scarce.  

Women in particular are at risk, as a lack of sufficient shelter increases their vulnerability to gender-based violence. Good, quality shelter can provide privacy, dignity and a sense of normality that cuts through the chaos.  

Where is Nigeria?

Nigeria map

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with a total population of 190 million people. 

It shares borders with Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. ​

Boko Haram’s heartland and main areas of control are in north east Nigeria. But the impact is felt far beyond this region, as families flee to neighbouring countries to escape the violence. 


How are we helping?

We have supported families in Nigeria who have been most affected by the crisis.  

Working in partnership with ACTED, we have provided lifesaving items like tents, tarpaulins, toolkits, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, water carriers, solar lights and blankets. Everything that families need to start rebuilding their lives. 

We’ve helped over 11,000 families affected by the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin so far, but our work is not over yet. We will be working again with our trusted partner ACTED to support more families with essential aid. 

Our aid

A selection of the aid we have provided in Nigeria

Water filter

Water carriers

By providing families with water containers and purification equipment, safe, clean drinking water becomes one less thing to worry about.

Kitchen set including pots and pans

Kitchen sets

By providing cooking sets, containing a range of sturdy utensils, families can spend quality time together.

Mosquito nets

Mosquito nets

Our mosquito nets are coated with insecticide, which offers an extra layer of protection, a simple and effective way to keep families safe.

ShelterBox working with ACTED in Nigeria

Our partners in Nigeria

ACTED is one of our amazing partners who we work with to deliver aid into the hands of families who need it the most. 

We work with them because their values are aligned with ours. Their mission is to save lives and support people in the most hard to reach areas. 

We’re also working with ACTED in Iraq and have worked with them in Afghanistan in the past. 

Falmata’s Story

Nigerian woman sweeping the floor

When the military evacuated their village, Falmata’s family got left behind.  

Vulnerable - and afraid that they might be attacked - Falmata had no choice but to leave in search of a safer place. 

When they reached a camp in the east of Nigeria, they lived in a school building with many other families. But an accidental fire destroyed the building, leaving them with nothing.  

After the fire, the family received an emergency ShelterKit. Find out how Falmata’s family have started making a new life for themselves with the help of ShelterBox and ACTED. 

Read Falmata's story

More from the Lake Chad Basin


We’re working in Cameroon, where thousands of families have fled conflict and are now living in Minawo Camp.


Half a million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Chad. See how we've helped.


Niger is facing five major crises right now. Read on to learn how we’re helping.