Hadiza's story, Nigeria

Years of conflict and poor rainfall in north east Nigeria has left 5.2 million people in need of food. Here’s how cash grants are helping Hadiza and other families get back on their feet.

Geplaatst door International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies op Zaterdag 10 februari 2018

Hadiza Abdulrahman may be in her late 60s, but her spry energy radiates a mile away. As the matriarch of 10 children and grandchildren, she has worked hard to try and keep her family safe, healthy and fed. But it is not always easy in an area where 5.2 million people have plummeted into food insecurity across Nigeria’s north east due to conflict and poor rainfall.

Hadiza lost everything after armed opposition groups destroyed her crops and left her house and belongings in ashes. For two weeks, her and her family endured the deep bush in hiding as the armed opposition continued to roam the area.

“Nothing remained for me. The suffering we had was not small,” she says. “It became difficult to even get food.”

Even now, Hadiza and her family are afraid of going into the bush, in fear of running into armed groups that remain active in many areas. This has significantly impacted their ability to produce food.

Thankfully, Hadiza has received a cash transfer from the Nigerian Red Cross, allowing her to pay her grandchildren’s school fees, buy goats for her to generate an income, treat her leg with much-needed medication and hire labourers to tend to her farm to feed her family and sell at the local market.

“When I was informed that I would be among the beneficiaries of the Red Cross, I was excited because I knew I would be able to restart my life,” said Hadiza confidently with a spark in her eye. “In two years, I should have about nine goats, I won’t have to worry anymore.”


The Nigerian Red Cross, with the support the IFRC, launched an appeal in March 2017 to support 360,000 people in particularly vulnerable and remote communities to help them build back their life.

“The Red Cross movement is the largest key players in relief services in Adamawa State.” says Adamu Babale, Head of Nigeria Complex Crisis Operations for the Nigerian Red Cross. “If you look at the volume of the people we reach with our operations and by our support, we are touching lives and we are going where no one else is thinking of going.”


Written by: Idorenyin Francis, IFRC West Coast Cluster Office

Editing and photos by: Corrie Butler, IFRC Africa Regional Office