Publication Date: 27/10/2020
Borno is a state in northeast Nigeria. Borno has been the epicentre of the Organized A since it began its insurgency in 2009. Records of Boko Haram operations show that thousands of people have either been murdered or kidnapped as a result of the group’s activities from July 27, 2009, through late 2019.
For Borno, COVID-19 is a “crisis within a crisis” and presents a range of challenges in a context with limited resources. In most localities (named local government areas or LGAs), access to quality health services, including intensive care, is limited. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) e.g. malaria, water borne illnesses (including cholera) and malnutrition represent the main cause of premature mortality in the state. In addition, food security and livelihoods are particularly precarious due to semi-subsistence lifestyles and heavy dependence on the informal sector for income.
Because Borno has been in a protracted crisis since 2009, gender has been a key consideration in the response. However, an outbreak of COVID-19 in Borno continues to disproportionately affect women and girls in a number of ways, as women are more likely to stay home to help with the increased domestic tasks. With the fear of contracting COVID-19, permission granted by men to access health services is decreasing which is negatively affecting women and girls’ access to maternal, sexual and reproductive health services. In addition, Gender Based Violence (GBV) service providers in Borno have reported a heightened risk of increased domestic violence in areas where pre-existing rates of violence against women in IDP camps are already very high. Additionally, with the recent loss of livelihoods, strained humanitarian interventions and inadequate field feedback handling mechanisms, Prevention of Sexual Harassment Exploitation and Abuse (PSHEA) and mitigation is a pressing concern as people in need are left vulnerable in the face of insufficient food and resources.