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The ICRC in Nigeria

03-10-2013 Overview

In Nigeria, the ICRC protects and assists people affected by armed conflict and violence, particularly in the north-eastern part of the country, the Middle Belt and the Niger Delta states. We promote international humanitarian law and other rules that protect people during armed violence and we support the emergency-response work of the Nigerian Red Cross Society.

ICRC facilities in Nigeria. 

ICRC facilities in Nigeria.
© ICRC

Responding to the consequences of armed conflict and violence

Working with Nigerian Red Cross Society staff and volunteers, the ICRC provides people displaced by armed conflict and other violence with food, clothes, shelter material and other basic necessities. We also make sure displaced people and the communities hosting them have safe water, both during and immediately after displacement.

Supporting Nigerian health facilities

With the agreement of the Nigerian Ministry of Health, the ICRC trains health staff at health facilities in the north to deal with sudden influxes of casualties. We coach health workers at four hospitals in the states of Bauchi, Kaduna and Plateau in the surgical treatment of people injured by weapons or explosions.

Visiting detainees

With the agreement of the Nigerian authorities, ICRC delegates visit people detained in police stations and prisons in connection with the armed conflict and violence occurring in Nigeria, in order to monitor their treatment and conditions of detention. We share the findings of our visits exclusively with the detaining authorities, in strict confidence.

Working with the Nigerian Red Cross Society

The ICRC is helping the Nigerian Red Cross Society enhance its emergency-response capability, by training and equipping volunteers to provide first aid during emergencies and to manage bodies.

Together with the Nigerian Red Cross, the ICRC is providing first-aid training for people living in violence-prone areas in the north and in the Niger Delta states.

Promoting international humanitarian law

Working closely with the authorities, the armed forces, the police, civil society and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the ICRC promotes international humanitarian law and supports its national implementation, especially as regards weapon control. In particular, we are supporting the integration of IHL rules into the training and operations of the Nigerian armed forces.

Finally…

The ICRC operated in Nigeria during the 1967-1970 civil war. We established a permanent presence in Lagos in 1988 and relocated to Abuja in 2003. The organization presently has more than 100 employees working in Abuja, Jos, Kano, Maiduguri and Port Harcourt


Photos

An ICRC surgical team operates on a patient injured during intercommunal violence. 

Nigeria.
An ICRC surgical team operates on a patient injured during intercommunal violence.
© ICRC / S. Serry

ICRC and NRCS staff distribute emergency supplies to people affected by violence. 

Nigeria.
ICRC and NRCS staff distribute emergency supplies to people affected by violence.
© ICRC / C. Massie

Villagers collect water from a pump renovated by the ICRC. 

Nigeria.
Villagers collect water from a pump renovated by the ICRC.
© ICRC / M. Ungaro

ICRC and NRCS personnel on a joint operation. 

Nigeria.
ICRC and NRCS personnel on a joint operation.
© ICRC / C. Massie

Nigeria. An ICRC field officer explains the basic rules of IHL to Nigerian Army personnel. 

Nigeria.
An ICRC field officer explains the basic rules of IHL to Nigerian Army personnel.
© ICRC / M. Olu-Egbuniwe

An ICRC delegate interviews a detainee. 

Nigeria.
An ICRC delegate interviews a detainee.
© ICRC / B. Heger