Where We Work - Nigeria

Save the Children in Nigeria

Save the Children has been working in Nigeria since 2001. We're helping to improve health systems in northern Nigeria to delivery maternal, newborn, and child health services, including the revival of routine immunization. We're helping 4,320 children through support for protection and peace committees and are getting 12,400 children back to school and providing them with clean water.

Our Results in Nigeria

  • We kept 12,662 children safe from harm.
  • More than 2,011,058 children got the opportunity to learn.
  • More than 693,156 children had a healthy start in life.
  • To help parents feed their children, 2,791 received support to start businesses, improve farming practices and invest in their children’s futures.
  • To fight malnutrition, nearly 4,409,772 received nutritious food and vital supplements.

Save the Children's statement on Nigerian schoolgirls

Challenges for Children in Nigeria

  • Children and young people make up 60% of the population. Maternal, newborn, and child mortality rates in Northern Nigeria are unacceptably high. One in five children dies before their fifth birthday. Many don't have enough to eat and can't get treatment when they are ill.
  • More than 40% of children miss out on school and have to work to survive. Nearly 2 million children have lost one or both parents to complications of HIV-infection and AIDS.

Child Survival

Save the Children is working to strengthen health systems and support maternal and child health in four northern states. Much work needs to be done for Nigeria to deliver its promises on Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 (which aim to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health) before 2015.


A staggering 11 million children are out of school (62% of them girls), including 4.7 million elementary school age children.

In addition to braod-reaching educational activities, we're focusing on 7,200 children whose lives are blighted by a combination of HIV and AIDS, exploitation, discrimination and violent conflict. We've trained 120 children to be able to take a lead in giving information, to young out-of-school men and women, on life skills and sexual and reproductive health, including HIV and AIDS.


It's estimated that 15 million children in Nigeria are working in agriculture, as domestic servants, hawkers, beggars or trafficked through the sex industry. Many of them are out of school and without access to basic health and social protection services.

Save the Children has established child protection and peace committees (CPPCs) in 36 communities, benefiting 4,320 children. The CPPCs target children whose lives are affected by HIV and AIDS, exploitation, extreme poverty, family violence and neglect, and discrimination. Liaising with local government agencies and others, CPPCs help improve basic services, and provide support for the most vulnerable children and families.

Facts and Statistics

  • Child Death Rate: 123.7 in 1,000 live births
  • Underweight Children: 31%
  • Human Development Rank: 152 out of 187 countries
  • Maternal Death Risk: 1 in 29 women
  • Education: 9 years
  • Income per capita: 1440 (USD)


Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s 2014 State of the World’s Mothers report.You can access detailed data here.

Other sources as follows: Population and Life Expectancy: CIA World Factbook 2014; Human Development Rank: United Nations Development Programme 2014; Underweight Children: World Health Organization Report 2014

Last Updated December 2014

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