YouthRISE Nigeria is an advocacy and service based organization with a mandate to promote human rights, access to quality healthcare, harm reduction, social justice and development for young people especially those vulnerable to drug use. Through strategic engagement with stakeholders and communities, we continue to champion drug policy reform and ensure better health outcomes for underserved communities. We are a recipient of the UNAIDS Red Ribbon Award.
YouthRISE Nigeria has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
YouthRISE Nigeria was borne in response to growing drug use and incidence of HIV
among people who use/inject drugs in Nigeria. The founding executive director, who
was the African representative of the YouthRISE International Working group on
drug use and involved in Global Fund HIV programmes in Nigeria, felt that the
specific response of the epidemic driven by drug use was not being adequately
To this end, YouthRISE Nigeria organized a multi-stakeholder meeting in Abuja in
August 2010 themed- Drug use and HIV: “A need for comprehensive
response”, the first of its kind in Nigeria and as such generated a lot of interest not
just in Nigeria but in the sub-region. The call for implementation of Comprehensive
Harm Reduction program in Nigeria and the need for sustained advocacy in this
respect were the key recommendations from the meeting.
YouthRISE Nigeria began light operation in 2012 and was formalized under a fiscal
host to provide administrative and legal operational support for the
organization before its legal incorporation in 2014.
Nigeria has always implemented a punitive drug policy and there was a need for that
to change for public health services to be implemented and scale up for people who
Hence, YouthRISE Nigeria, since inception, has been at the forefront of advocating
for evidence-based policies and programs including harm reduction for people who
use drugs, engaging critical stakeholders to drive policy reform, improve HIV
services and galvanizing CSO actions in this regard. One of the initial documented
pieces of evidence of our work was the publication of the first national report on the
impact of the Nigeria Drug policy on the health and human rights of young people
who use drugs. YouthRISE Nigeria also facilitated the formation of drug user groups
& network in Nigeria.