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CRS in Nigeria: An Overview of Our Work

CRS in Nigeria: An Overview of Our Work   

This fact sheet describes CRS' work in Nigeria. Our work in Nigeria focuses on the following areas:

  • Agriculture and economic growth
  • Agroenterprise and value chains
  • Civil society and governance for orphans and vulnerable children
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Child health
  • Health systems strengthening

Download the PDF (541 KB)

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Our history in Nigeria

Catholic Relief Services came to Nigeria in 1960 to provide humanitarian assistance in collaboration with the Catholic Church. Along with many other NGOs, we were forced to leave the country in 1970 during the Biafran War. In the late 1990s, CRS implemented outreach projects in Nigeria through the Catholic Church, and in 1999, CRS opened an office in Nigeria, primarily to support peace and justice efforts.

In 2001, we launched a response to HIV and AIDS in four dioceses of Nigeria. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief greatly expanded our work in 2004. We primarily worked with faith-based health facilities to provide testing, care and treatment to people living with HIV and AIDS.

Programmatic areas in Nigeria have since expanded to include peace building, governance, health, capacity building, agriculture and emergency response & recovery. Most recently CRS helped households recover from the effects of flooding in the Niger Delta region from 2012 to 2013.

What we do

CRS employs an integrated approach to help poor and vulnerable people lead full and productive lives.

We implement programs in partnership with the Catholic Church, civil-society organizations, government institutions and community networks, providing technical support to strengthen their systems.

Across all programs we are reaching over 1.77 million beneficiaries with programming focused on the following areas:


  • Agriculture and Economic Growth
  • Agroenterprise and Value Chains


  • Civil Society and Governance for Orphans and Vulnerable Children
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Child Health
  • Health System Strengthening

Current programs


Agriculture and economic growth

We are employing a multi-sector approach that will help 42,000 households grow their agricultural production, incomes, children (through improved nutrition), and help strengthen community and government systems to support these gains. The identified households will receive individualized support from trained community liaisons that will link them to the most relevant activities and services. Women, youth and adolescents will receive particular support, with interventions tailored to their particular challenges and aspirations. The project is being implemented in rural communities in Northwestern Nigeria and FCT Abuja.

CRS is the consortium lead of this U.S. Agency for International Development funded five year (2013–2018) US$20 million program with a US$5 million partner cost share.

Agroenterprise and value chains

Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world and we are helping farmers access high quality certified cassava stems through a traceable value chain. This will strengthen household incomes and food security.

The project aims to do this by increasing cassava productivity for 35,000 farming households by improving production practices. Farmers have continued to receive regular extension service support and supervision from both private and public sector providers through this project. This agro business model has been met with considerable interest and excitement from other actors in the agriculture sector in Nigeria.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing US$3 million for the four year project ending in July 2016.


Civil society and government for orphans and vulnerable children

We are empowering households to improve their livelihoods in sustainable ways. Our program supports local organizations to strengthen communities, civil society and government. Together we are also responding to the needs of highly vulnerable children. The program will improve the well-being of 500,000 children and 125,000 caregivers by monitoring holistic care in five of Nigeria's "middle belt" states.

CRS is leading a consortium to implement the program. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is providing US$32.5 million through the U.S. Agency for International Development for the years 2013–2018. The consortium is providing US$2.7 million in cost sharing.


We are ensuring that more mothers receive counseling, testing and antiretroviral treatment for HIV and AIDS. This not only improves the mother’s life but also reduces mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The country has a great need for these services. Worldwide, one in five new cases of mother-to-child transmission of HIV occurs in Nigeria. The program focuses on creating synergies between health care actors in order to build sustainable systems at the facility level.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is providing US$2.3 million to this project for 2.5 years, from January 2013 to June 2015.

Child health

Polio eradication in Nigeria became a global priority when the country was listed as one the last three with endemic polio cases. We are helping to contribute to achieving the goals of 2013 Nigeria Polio Eradication Emergency Plan by employing an integrated approach that focuses on: support to routine immunizations, improved community demand, reducing missed and zero dose children, and improving community based detection. The project is not intended to provide ad hoc support to polio campaigns or constantly shift focus from one area to another, campaign to campaign; it instead provides consistent, year round attention.

The program is part of the CORE Group Polio Project which is a multi-country, multi-partner initiative providing financial support, on-the-ground technical guidance and support to strengthen host country efforts to eradicate polio.

Health systems strengthening

We are also supporting Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to build their capacity to effectively engage government and other players in sustainable and effective delivery of immunization services and health related issues. CRS is providing technical assistance to CSOs in carrying out advocacy and communications, health systems strengthening/funding platform, and CSOs involvement in national health policy development. The project is currently being implemented in 14 countries including Nigeria. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations is providing US$90,000 for the first year of implementation.

More information

For more information on our work in Nigeria, contact our office at:

Address: Plot No 477, 41 Crescent, A Close, Gwarimpa II, Abuja, Nigeria
Tel: +234 (09) 413.8944/5 or 413.8167/8
Country profile: Nigeria

Publication details

Publisher: Catholic Relief Services (April 2013)
Fact sheet: 2 pages
Language: English
Dimensions: 8.27 x 11.69 inches

Updated December 4, 2013

Reader Comments (2)

I am quite impressed with CRS activities, and particularly interested in the model for assisting households grow economically in their agricultural businesses in rural communities in North West Nigeria and FCT.
I wish to know if I can be allowed to understudy the implementation in say FCT, with a view to transferring the knowledge gained to people in my community in South West Nigeria.

April 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterA. A. Adepeju

Thank you for your interest. To contact our staff in Nigeria, please send an e-mail to

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