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With Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorism, Nigeria now has 2.7 million IDPs, 244,000 refugees in Cameroon, Chad and Niger

The Lake Chad Basin region is home to 3.4 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) due to the activities of Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorist groups.

Out of this number, over 2.7 million IDPs are in the Northeast region of Nigeria, 513,000 domiciled in in Cameroon, Chad and Niger while 244,000 Nigerian refugees call the three countries home.

This is just as Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zulum, called on the federal government to help evacuate over 200,000 Nigerians from his State taking refuge in Cameroon, Niger and of Chad, saying they are willing to return home.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, said in Abuja at a Stakeholders Meeting on the Implementation of Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) that Nigeria has the highest number of IDPs and refugees in the region and carries the heaviest burden of the humanitarian challenge.

The United Nations High Commission attended the event for Refugees (UNHCR), Nigerian Immigration Service, National Identity Management Commission, Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and representatives of states governments and many relevant stakeholders.

“The adoption of GCR is a good omen for Nigeria. It has opened a new vista of opportunities for stakeholders to access support in a timely, predictable and sustainable manner.

“It creates an incentive for stakeholders to join forces and pool resources to address the humanitarian challenges with the intention of addressing underlying causes in a sustainable and humane manner.

“It also enables stakeholders to approach the humanitarian challenge from a durable solution perspective which requires closer, stronger and well-coordinated partnerships and collaborations across all levels of governance,’’ Farouq said.

Also speaking, the Minister of Women Affairs Mrs Pauline Tallen said women and children are most affected in humanitarian crisis.

Tallen pledged the support of her ministry in addressing humanitarian crisis and disaster, especially on women and children.

Professor Zulum of Borno State said: “The refugees, numbering about 200,000 of Borno origin, that are residing in Cameroon, Chad and Niger have shown their quest to return home. They have been yearning and agitating to come back for a long time.

“In fact, they are all on my neck to return home. I am begging the Federal Government to help. The Borno Government is ready to partner with the Federal Government via the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

“We can do this with the view of identifying suitable places for their return in a dignifying manner,” Zulum noted.

He was optimistic that after the stakeholders meeting a sustainable solution to enhance the means of their living and return home would be identified and implemented.

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