Nigeria has made incredible progress, but millions of children are still being left behind.
The country is home to 10% of the world’s out-of-school children (4.7 million in total), and over 60% of the population is living in extreme poverty.
Many children are not attending school, with 27% of school-aged children out of school. For the children that are in school, they are failing to learn basic skills like reading and writing.
Children continue to die from preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria, and malnutrition contributes to half of deaths of children under five.
Girls across Nigeria are experiencing gender-based violence, and many girls are being forced to marry as children. In the northern part of Nigeria, 48% of girls are married by the age of 15 and 78% are married by the age of 18. As a result, millions of girls end up dropping out of school.
And children’s lives are being impacted by conflict, violence and exploitation. Conflict has led to a collapse of public services like health, nutrition and education. 45% of health facilities and nearly half of schools in the state of Borno have been destroyed by the conflict.
Save the Children has been working in Nigeria since 2001 to ensure all children survive, learn and are protected.
We protect children from all forms of violence, especially girls, orphans, vulnerable children and children affected by conflict. Our programmes work from the community to the national level to promote children’s rights and protection. We also campaign to ensure that girls have equal access to education and are protected from child marriage.
We are building the capacity of health workers and the health system in Nigeria to treat and prevent malnutrition, and deliver low cost interventions that save newborn lives. We are also part of a consortium working to ensure that all children are immunised, and advocate for increased government investment in health and nutrition.
We are increasing access to and the quality of education, including early childhood care. And we work to address the causes of poverty and mitigate their impact on children, by strengthening the livelihoods and resilience of households.
Our humanitarian work provides child-friendly spaces where children can learn, plan and receive the support they need to recover from trauma. We also set up temporary learning spaces and support the re-enrollment of out of school children so that all children can have an education.