Despite natural resources such as oil, tin, iron and coal, more than 70% of Nigeria’s population lives on less than $1 per day. Many still don’t have access to basic needs such as health, water and sanitation, and education.
Since returning to democratic rule in 1999, there have been numerous, often unpredicted, violent clashes due to ethnic and religious tensions, or access to resources such as land.
The Niger Delta region is an area of ongoing conflict, often highlighted in the media due to the kidnapping of foreign nationals working for oil companies.
Thousands have either died or been forced to flee their homes – often to neighbouring countries or to camps.
CAFOD in Nigeria
We have been working in Nigeria since the late 1960s, with a focus on governance, peace building, gender and humanitarian assistance.
Under the governance programme, our work focuses on supporting the Catholic Church through Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria to strengthen its seat/voice in the National Assembly and government departments. Through the church structures, the poor and disadvantaged are mobilized to increase their involvement in decision-making processes and to influence policies and practices that affect their rights. In addition, CAFOD’s work strengthens citizen’s participation in governance at the local level. Through our partners, CAFOD works towards fostering accountability, transparency, civic education and responsive governance processes, systems/ structures at the local level.
Our partner CWSI (Centre for Women’s Studies and Intervention) works on addressing gender inequality in political office holding and decision-making in the project area (Kogi State). The action is aimed at specifically addressing institutionalized exclusion of women from decision-making, particularly in the culturally inhibited rural communities. CWSI are also trying to change the perpetration of violence against women, such as violence related to tradition or custom e.g. maltreatment of widows and others such as rape, sexual harassment of young women which occurs among the communities in the project area. These practices injure the physical, social and psycho-emotional integrity of the victims.
Humanitarian assistance interventions focus on helping vulnerable and disaster affected people to rebuild their lives. CAFOD works to strengthen Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria humanitarian department. CAFOD builds the capacity of Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria to seek for funds, respond to emergencies and develop a strategic plan to manage disasters/ emergencies. CAFOD collaborates with Caritas Internationalis agencies and others to intervene in the case of major humanitarian disasters.
The first time I came to this place I was shocked by the lack of water. We were surviving like animals. The water we use is infected with many diseases such as typhoid. The water filter helps to remove the bacteria - I am living proof that it works! When I had typhoid I was so thin, if you carried me you would think I was made of paper. Since I have been drinking filtered water I have grown fit and strong."