Results around the world – Nigeria

Nigeria is a lower-middle-income country and ranks 152nd out of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s 2016 Human Development Index. Approximately 54% of Nigeria’s nearly 200 million people live in extreme poverty.

Nigerian women, girls and children bear the brunt of poverty. Globally, Nigeria accounts for 14% of all maternal deaths and 13% of all under-five deaths. This means approximately 800,000 children and mothers die each year. One in nine Nigerian children never reaches the age of five.

Early pregnancy among malnourished adolescent girls is one of the many factors contributing to the country’s high maternal mortality rate, which stood at 814 per 100,000 live births in 2015. Sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls are a neglected area in Nigeria. Fewer than 20% of health facilities offer emergency obstetric care. In 2014, only 35% of deliveries were attended by skilled birth attendants.

Poverty and inequality fuel violence and make youth vulnerable to radicalization by terrorist movements, such as Boko Haram, which creates insecurity, disrupts development and leads to the displacement of many vulnerable people. This has led to an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the northeastern region of Nigeria. High population growth combined with diminished natural resources and the effects of climate change have also created the conditions for increased conflict between herdsmen and farmers, further destabilizing the country over the past year.

To help address these issues, Canada’s development assistance in Nigeria focuses on the poorest and most vulnerable, notably in the north of the country where Canada also provides significant humanitarian assistance. Programming advances the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls and includes the prevention of and response to gender-based violence and other harmful practices. Canada also supports improvements to primary health-care delivery at the community level, which helps reduce the burden of diseases—for example, by supporting polio eradication. Canada also helps to develop agriculture as an engine for inclusive growth for unemployed or underemployed youth. Programming across all sectors targets women and aims to address key barriers preventing women from attaining their full rights.

Key results

Since 2016, through the Bauchi Opportunities for Responsive Neonatal and Maternal Health project, 2,457 community-based health volunteers have been trained, including 825 traditional birth attendants (all women) on sexual and reproductive health and rights and family planning. Moreover, 58,334 home visits have been conducted, providing information and services on maternal and newborn health as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights.

In 2017-18, the Youth Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Access and Development project in Nigeria provided training in entrepreneurship to more than 10,000 youth, and Canada’s assistance helped establish almost 1,500 new businesses in 12 agricultural value chains.

Under the World Health Organization’s Polio and Routine Immunization project, the number of non-immunized girls and boys in targeted areas decreased by 33% in 2017, from 265,727 to 178,242.

From 2014 to 2018, the Shaping Local Markets for Diarrhea Treatment project implemented a large-scale program to reduce diarrheal deaths of children under the age of five by scaling up the combined use of zinc and oral rehydration salts (ORS). Using an innovative strategy focused on driving improvements in both public and private sectors to supply zinc and ORS, the project succeeded in achieving a six-fold increase in coverage. As a result, the project is estimated to have averted 12,359 diarrheal deaths.

Canada is also committed to providing humanitarian assistance to help people in Nigeria affected by conflict and disease. Through partners, in 2017, Canada helped provide over 4.2 million vaccinations, food to over 1.2 million people, and safe drinking water to over 767,000 people.

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