Nigeria Lake Chad Basin / Nigeria Early Recovery Initiative
In a vulnerable region, the program is improving community security, recovering livelihoods and advocating for the peaceful resolution of conflict in the target states.
Nigeria’s states in the Northwest and North Central regions have been struggling with a rising crisis of violence and displacement caused by farmer-herder conflict, religious intolerance and other structural factors.
Funded and guided by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI), the Nigeria Lake Chad Basin (NLCB) is a quick-response program that supports activities to strengthen and extend stability in the hard-hit states of Kaduna and Plateau, also known as the Middle Belt region.
In September 2020, NLCB – known locally as the Nigeria Early Recovery Initiative (NERI) – focused its efforts on improving community security, recovery of livelihoods and advocacy and peaceful resolution of conflict in the target states. These activities strengthen community resilience and support conflict prevention mechanism to anticipate, prevent and respond to increasing violence and threats of attacks against civilians.
In close collaboration with community leaders and through small grants to local partners, NLCB/NERI activities support the ability of displaced individuals to return to their homes and that strengthen the physical security of vulnerable neighborhoods, such as by installing solar streetlights. It develops early warning mechanisms that alert communities to potential threats. As restored livelihoods remain a key priority, NLCB/NERI supports small investments into rehabilitating marketplaces and providing livelihood kits and cash–for–work activities to at-risk community members.
A key focus is the peaceful resolution of conflicts, including farmer-herder disagreements and religious intolerance, that often escalate to violence. NLCB/NERI’s activities seek to increase the access to an inclusive space for community led advocacy and platforms for dialogue. Working in target locations, experts build the advocacy skills of grassroots organizations to ensure that community decisions and interventions are locally driven and inclusive of marginalized groups. Because many communities remain traumatized by the effects of violence, NLCB/NERI is implementing activities that provide elements of psycho–social support and trauma healing.
NLCB/NERI currently programs have expanded in four local government areas (LGAs) of Southern Kaduna – Kajuru, Jema’a, Chikun and Zangon Kataf – while in Plateau State, focusing mainly on Bassa and Mangu, with limited interventions planned in Bokkos and Barkin Ladi.
By the end of the NLCB/NERI program, these vulnerable communities in eight LGAs will be equipped with improved community security, resiliency and recovery of livelihoods, as well as increased capacity and access for inclusive advocacy and peacebuilding mechanisms towards a peaceful resolution of conflict in the Middle Belt.