30 Years of ICRC’s Presence in Nigeria

Abuja (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held a photo exhibition today in Abuja in recognition of the 30 years of its work in Nigeria. The exhibition “Through their eyes” included a collage of 50 photographs taken by young people living every day with the consequences of armed conflict or violence.

“The exhibition puts the spotlight on what has always been at the heart of our work over the last 30 years – the voices of people who have been affected by armed conflict or violence”, said Eloi Fillion, ICRC head of delegation in Nigeria. “The collection of amateur photographs were taken by teenagers whose lives have been irrevocably marked by the consequences of violence, from being separated from their families to being forced to flee their homes. The photographs provide an authentic and un-edited account of the humanitarian challenges many Nigerians are facing today”.

The exhibition features the work of almost 30 teenagers in Maiduguri and Port Harcourt with whom the ICRC worked with on two photography projects in 2016 and 2017. Their photographs express their surroundings, their longing for lost family and feelings of pain and hope.

The short documentary, “Not forgotten,” which premiered at the event, introduced in more detail the stories of some of the young
photographers featured at the exhibition.

“The reason I took this photo is because I want to show the world how people in our community work hard to get food to eat”, said Mercy, who lives in one of the shanty communities in Port Harcourt.

The exhibition was attended, among others, by the representatives of the Nigerian institutions that the ICRC has been partnering on different projects over the years, such as the Nigerian Red Cross Society, armed and police forces and representatives of the Nigerian government.

The ICRC has been alleviating suffering caused by armed conflict or armed violence in Nigeria since 1988 in partnership with Nigerian authorities and organisations. From promoting the protection of civilians under international humanitarian law to reconnecting families separated by conflict and providing humanitarian assistance to communities, the ICRC has put affected people at the heart of its humanitarian action. With a growing staff of over 650 located in Abuja and 11 other offices across north-eastern Nigeria, Niger Delta and the Middle Belt, the ICRC continues to ensure close proximity with, and its accountability to, vulnerable populations.

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