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Nigeria: an overview of ICRC activities in 2006

30-09-2006 Operational Update

In Nigeria, the ICRC focuses on prevention, humanitarian diplomacy and strengthening the capacities of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) to help those in need of assistance.

© ICRC / Boris Heger / ng-e-00110 
Delivering detergent to prison authorities to clean cells. With the support of the ICRC, Nigerian Red Cross volunteers improve health and hygiene in more than a 100 places of detention.  

© ICRC / Boris Heger / ng-e-00193 
Young refugees from neighbouring countries receive Red Cross messages sent by their loved ones. 

© ICRC / Boris Heger / ng-e-00075 
Together with the Nigerian Red Cross, the ICRC keeps in close contact with community leaders in order to plan possible humanitarian action. 
Cooperation with the Nigerian Red Cross 

The ICRC's operational presence in Nigeria is mainly channelled through the Nigeria Red Cross Society (NRCS) that implements the following programmes with the ICRC's support.

 Assisting people displaced by violence  


  • distribution of food and basic household materials and the provision of health care to people displaced by internal violence and refugees

  • re-establishing family links through the Red Cross Message system

 Improving health and hygiene in prisons  


  • distribution of hygiene items such as soap, disinfectant and detergent along with monthly cleaning exercises in more than 100 prisons

  • micro-projects such as sewage system repair or the construction of latrines

  • community-based first aid

 Building local capacities  


Together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the ICRC supports the NRCS to respond to emergencies. The ICRC's support focuses on conflict preparedness to:

  • enhance the NRCS's capacity to respond to inter-communal clashes, urban riots and political violence

  • pre-position food, medical and other supplies throughout the country

  • establish a high-frequency radio network between local branches of the NRCS

  • train Red Cross volunteers and staff on humanitarian law and Red Cross/Red Crescent principles

Preventive action 


 To promote respect of international humanitarian law and human rights principles, the ICRC:  


  • holds training courses in international humanitarian law (IHL) for the Nigerian Armed Forces and Police Forces

  • briefs units leaving on peace-keeping operations

  • makes presentations about the Movement and IHL at training institutions including those of the Nigerian Defence Academy, the Command and Staff College, the National War College and the Police Staff College

  • promotes the inclusion of IHL in the official curriculum of Nigerian universities

  • supports teachers and students of IHL with educational material, workshops and sponsorships


 To facilitate the implementation of IHL, the ICRC:  

  • supports the ratification of IHL treaties and their incorporation into national legislation

  • holds regular discussions on human itarian issues with local and national political authorities, traditional leaders and officials of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

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