.2m internally displaced Nigerians live in Chad, others, says UN

UNHCR• Requires $29m to meet IDPs’ needs 

The United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) has said over 200,000 internally displaced Nigerians are living in neighboring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.

The UNHCR representative to Nigeria, Mrs. Angele Dikongue-Atangana who disclosed this at a press conference to commemorate the 2015 World Refugee Day, advocated increase support for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.

Speaking on the theme of the celebration, “Displaced Persons, ordinary people living in extraordinary times”, the UNHCR representative stressed the need to galvanize support for the IDPs. She said: “The IDPs need our support and attention, there is need to beef up capacity to further protect and provide for the needs of the IDPS.”

She disclosed that the commission needs $29million to attend to the needs of the displaced persons, adding that UNHCR has been able to meet up with seven percent of the said amount, leaving a funding gap of 93 percent.

While tasking developed countries to own up to the responsibility of assisting refugees, she said: “It is time to stop hiding behind misleading words.

Richer nations must acknowledge refugees for the victims they are, fleeing from wars they were unable to prevent or stop. And then wealthier countries must decide on whether to shoulder their fair share, at home and abroad or to hide behind as a growing anarchy spreads across the world.

“For me, the choice is clear; either allow the cancer of forced displacement to spread untreated, or manage the crisis together. We have the solutions and the expertise.

It won’t be easy or cheap, but it will be worth it.” On what the commission has being doing to assist the IDPs, Dikongue-Atangana disclosed that the it had trained 314 personnel on protection and human rights principles and deployed them to commence protection, monitoring in ten North East and North central states, adding that it has provided relief materials, both food and non-food items, to the displaced.

She also disclosed that the commission has commenced the construction of 200unit of houses for the displaced persons in Benue state known as the Cuma Shelter project, aimed at reducing the incidence of armed conflict and improving protection of IDPs in the state.

The Federal Commissioner for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria, Mrs. Hadiza Sani-Kangiwa maintained that the World refugee Day was celebrated to remind people about the urgent need to resolve conflicts that have forced lots of families to leave their home and go to another place to save their lives.

Lamenting that allowing IDPs to live in the camps for a long period of time is not good, she advocated the need provide the IDPs with Standard assistant package that allows them to recover and begin life ssShe disclosed that Nigeria currently plays host to 2000 refugees and 1000 asylum seekers, adding that the Nigerian government has come up with National Migration policy which was recently passed with the aim of addressing the many challenges of migration.

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