IOM Highlights Psychosocial Needs of Displaced People in Eastern Nigeria

Nigeria - IOM, with financial support from the US, French and German governments, has released a report based on a psychosocial needs assessment of internally displaced persons (IDPs) carried out in Yola, Adamawa State, in eastern Nigeria in April 2015.

The needs assessment identified the psychosocial needs of IDPs who have fled the Boko Haram insurgency and are now living in camps and host communities in Yola.

Using a community-based approach, the report is aimed at agencies involved in efforts to provide humanitarian assistance in Nigeria’s northeast, particularly in the area of psychosocial social support and mental health care.

The assessment revealed several weak points in the provision of psychosocial support to the IDPs. It points to an absence of adequate psychosocial support services and a huge gap in addressing the mental health concerns of those affected by the humanitarian crisis.

Key recommendations from the assessment include the need to have a Standard Operating Procedure, including a referral pathway, for patients in need of specialized mental health care, and improved coordination through the creation of a group dedicated to mental health and psychosocial support discussions.

The assessment also underscores the need for livelihoods support and calls for the development of livelihood activities alongside psychosocial support activities for the affected populations, especially vulnerable groups, including women.

According to IOM project manager Luana Giardinelli: “Providing opportunities for the displaced population to take care for their own livelihood would contribute to strengthening their psychosocial well-being and would help ease the stress they are experiencing.”

Since July 2014, IOM has been providing psychosocial support to people who have been displaced by insurgency and counter-insurgency activities in Borno and Adamawa states.

The programme’s activities are aimed at: understanding the psychosocial needs of the IDPs; providing direct psychosocial services to the IDPs based on the needs assessment findings; establishing community mobilization groups; and strengthening the capacity of national actors to respond to the needs of the IDPs.

The report can be downloaded from:

For further information, please contact Luana Giardinelli at IOM Abuja, Tel +234 (0) 706 702 6240), Email: