Surviving conflict and start of a new life


Working closely with local authorities, UNDP is rolling out a series of interventions aimed at strengthening community resilience by addressing the socio-economic and security-related challenges being faced by both the internally displaced people and host communities.

Despite the widespread loss of livelihoods caused by the insurgency in Northeast Nigeria since 2009, people affected by this crisis has started building back their lives and recovering new means of livelihood to survive off humanitarian assistance. Since the inception of the insurgency, several aid organizations have stepped in to help improve the well-being of conflict-affected persons and revive the economy of affected communities by rebuilding and restructuring the basic infrastructures needed for a community to thrive.

From Maiduguri, a principal trading hub town in north-eastern Nigeria hails a Musa Mishelia. A graduate and a survivor of the conflict that struck that part of the country. Today, Musa ha discovered a new means of livelihood that will help me survive and start a new life.

Musa in his Boss’s mechanic shop

“When the incidence started in 2009, it started like play. I was personally affected in 2012, 3 days after Christmas. Boko Haram attacked my family house at Shuwari while I was away at work and slaughtered my dad and one of my brothers. My mum was forced to watch as they killed my father and brother. We fled from that area after burying my them. My mum could not bear the harrowing experience and passed away in January 2013.”

The gravity of the trauma and loss of both parents made Musa and his siblings to disperse to different locations in order to look for other means of livelihood. In January 2019, Musa discovered that UNDP is planning to support victims of insurgency to acquire some vocational skills in a bid to help them regain their means of livelihood and be self-resilient. He applied and was among the 50 youths selected to learn Mechanical mechatronics and body work at the PAN learning centre in Kaduna, thanks to funding by the European Union.

Musa working losing an engine with his colleague in the mechanic shop

In the course of this training, the beneficiaries were provided with accommodation and stipends for their upkeeps and in the process, they also received a thorough mentorship from Centre for Community Development and Research Network (CCDRN) on how to successfully manage their business and finances. Based on their performance records and following the review of their business plan, some of the beneficiaries including Musa received 180,000.00 Naira as business start-up cash grants which will be paid in trenches.

“I have so far received N90, 000 from UNDP and I have bought a couple of tools that I am now using to work. For now, I don’t have my own shop, but I have attached myself with a professional mechanical workshop to add more knowledge and be more grounded in the skills. Honestly, I am happy that I now have something that can help me for the rest of my life thanks to UNDP and EU. With this skill, I plan to own a mechanic workshop, employ and teach other apprentices as part of my contribution to helping victims of the insurgency especially the youths who are willing to be self-resilient.”

Musa at a training session in PANLC Kaduna

Since 2015, UNDP commenced implementation of the Early Recovery Programme for the North East of Nigeria with the goal of creating a conducive environment for the displaced populations in this part of the country that has been ravaged by the military insurgent group. This programme promotes recovery through a ‘Build Back Better’ approach. As people rebuild their homes and livelihoods, UNDP and its partners works with them to improve building standards and pursue diversification of livelihoods.