Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a population estimated at 163 million and accounts for almost half of the population of West Africa. Although the overall HIV prevalence in Nigeria is relatively low (3 %), the absolute number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) has a far-reaching impact due to the large population. An estimated 2.6 million Nigerian adults are infected with HIV and AIDS, the second largest burden in the world after South Africa. Without urgent action from the government this number will continue to increase. Nigeria has an estimated 17.5 million orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) who account for 24.5 % of all children in Nigeria. Of these, 9.7 million are orphans, and 2.4 million were orphaned due to AIDS; millions more children are made vulnerable by the disease; fear, stigma, and discrimination against these children and people living with HIV and AIDS are high.
Despite a large reserve of human and natural resources, poverty remains a major challenge. Poverty is concentrated in rural areas where about 66.3% live on less than US $1 a day compared to 52.4% percent in urban areas. Greater proportions of poor households are found in the North than in the South with high incidence of poverty in households engaged in agriculture. Rural livelihoods are further undermined by poor infrastructure, including water and sanitation, poor and limited rural roads, electricity, schools, health facilities and communication.
Read more about the project’s activities in Nigeria in our notes from the field.