By Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA: United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Representative to Nigeria Ms. Chansa Kapaya has said that 292,141 Nigerian refugees have sought asylum in Niger, Cameroon, and Chad.
Ms. Kapaya made this known at a press briefing to mark World Refugee Day yesterday in Abuja.
She said, “In Nigeria, the persons of concern to UNHCR include: 2,045,000 IDPs in the North East out of which 1.8 million are in the BAY states, 57,800 Cameroonian refugees in the South East, 2, 340 urban refugees, and 1,122 asylum seekers in Lagos, Ogun, FCT�Abuja, and Kano states.
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”Over the past few years, there has been an escalation of conflict in the Lake Chad region with cross-border activities of Boko Haram which has caused the displacement of many in Northeastern part of Nigeria and the far Northern region of Cameroon. Consequently, 292,141 Nigerian refugees have sought asylum in Niger, Cameroon, and Chad.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq called on all Nations to show commitment in the implementation of Global Compact on Refugees which will provide a veritable guide toward addressing the protection issues of Refugees.
Hajia Farouq explained that the Global Compact on Refugees is an all- document that also provides guidance in emergency situations like COVID-19.
She said, “In carrying out our responsibilities at the organizational level, it is important to note that encamping IDPs and Refugees should be utilized as a short term approach in addressing their challenges, our focus should be geared toward providing durable solutions.
Also in her remarks, The ECOWAS Commissioner, Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne said the rapid worsening of the Sahel crisis has driven humanitarian needs in the region to unprecedented levels and is progressively threatening to encroach to the coastal member states.
“The ECOWAS Commission in line with its humanitarian mandate will continue to support member states to alleviate the sufferings of our population affected by humanitarian concerns.
Consequently, the Commission is implementing an ECOWAS Emergency Plan from April to June 2020 to raise awareness on preventive and protective measures as well as the promotion of good hygiene practices and risk communication and community engagement activities and community surveillance to reduce the spread of COVI_19 in seven IDP and Refugee camps in federal capital territory, Abuja, Nigeria.
“The commission is also implementing food assistance to members state (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria) in the Sahel region worth 1 million Dollars as a palliative to the impact of the COVD_19 pandemic in the region.
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By Victoria Ojeme