Boko Haram: IDP population rises to 2.2m, says UNHCR
DISTRIBUTION OF RELIEF MATERIALS TO IDPs IN
GOMBE PIC. 29. RELIEF MATERIALS SET FOR
DISTRIBUTION TO INTERNALLY DISPLACED
PERSONS (IDPs) BY THE RED CROSS SOCIETY OF
NIGERIA AND UNITED NATIONS HIGH
COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR) IN
GOMBE ON TUESDAY
THE population of Internally Displaced Persons
(IDPs) in the Northeast has risen to 2.2 million, the
United Nations High Commission for Refugees
(UNHCR) said yesterday.
UNHCRs Representative to Nigeria Ms Angele
Dikongue- Atangana gave the statistics in Abuja at
the commissionâ€™s yearly stakeholdersâ€™ briefing.
Ms. Dikongue- Atangana, however, said that the
population rise at the IDP camps was not due to
new displacement, saying the agency would not
relent in its humanitarian support to the country.
She urged UNHCR partners and donor agencies to
assist refugees and displaced persons.
Her words: â€œThe number of IDPs is not really
increasing as a result of new displacement.
â€œThere could be some relatively small new
displacement in the course of combating
insurgency and knowing that the insurgents
themselves still remain active, especially in this hit
and run tactic.
â€œThe number is increasing specifically because
regaining control of the territory by the military
opened further access for the humanitarian
officials so they can count many more IDPs, be
they old IDPs or very recent ones.â€
The country representative disclosed that UNHCR
had recorded success in its 2015 operational
activities in the country, including addressing
refugee and IDP plights, advocacy on statelessness
and collaboration with the Economic Community of
West African States (ECOWAS).
According to her, the commission in its action plan
supervised the voluntary repatriation of 452
Cameroonian refugees back to their country.
She said that plans were already in progress to
repatriate 165 others back to their country before
the end of the year, while resettling others to a
third country in Europe and the United States
She said UNHCR was working closely with relevant
bodies to ensure that IDPs had their basic rights,
especially the right to existence, food, shelter,
education, security, amongst other amenities.
The UNHCR representative said that in line with the
global campaign in eradicating the scourge, it had
engaged the National Assembly in domesticating
the frameworks that would prevent and reduce
Also speaking, Ms Liz Ahua, UNHCR regional
representative to West Africa, urged donors and
partners to take a trip to the field for a better
understanding of the situation.
According to her, the rate of displacement was
alarming and actions needed to be taken fast as the
displaced population could amount to the
population of other smaller African countries.
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