When families flee their homes, they can no longer tend their fields. When agricultural production drops, trade falls off; a sweeping, downward economic spiral. And when families flee their homes, they get split up. Many displaced people are hosted in villages and towns. This puts a burden on those communities as well.
During the last six months, Samuel Tizira has opened his house in Yola to 50 people, who are living alongside his wife and six children. His house guests fled violence in Michika, Samuel's hometown, which was attacked last September. Samuel lost eight family members there.
"People in Michika know that I live in Yola and they started to arrive at my place the day after," says Samuel. "They didn't have a place to stay and we're all human beings. We need to help each other in this world."
Samuel, 53, has been working in Yola for 34 years as a cartographer for the government. Most of the people who have stayed with him walked 60 kilometres over three days with little to eat or drink.
"I was taught to care for human life, whatever problems people have," says Samuel, who spent his own money to make sure his former neighbours had something to eat three times a day. He also bought soap, extra mattresses, drinking water and mosquito nets.
For Samuel, the disruption at home is nothing compared to what those fleeing the fighting have gone through. "They had to escape with the clothes on their backs. There was no time to take even a Kobo (a Nigerian coin) or personal documents," he says.
"We were worried because the other two children weren't with us. We didn't know where they were," says Maria Sanusi, a mother of five separated from two of her children after gunshots rang out in Gulak, Nigeria, last September.
ICRC interview, Yola, Nigeria, April 2015