Displacement & MigrationNews

1.9 Million People Remain Internally Displaced In Northeast – UN

Some 1.9 million people remain internally displaced in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe with many living in dire conditions, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), said in an online conference on Thursday.

The agency said that over 80 per cent of the number is in Borno State which has remained the centre of Boko Haram insurgency for more than 11 years, adding that the situation had been worsened by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“With the upsurge in violence and new waves of displacements, in the first half of the year, nearly 60,000 people were forced to flee their homes, some for the second or third time.

“Over 23,000 people are sleeping out in the open and more than 400,000 others are living in makeshift shelters, which exposes them to harsh weather conditions, disease outbreaks and protection risks,” UNOCHA stated.

Overcrowding in camps

‘Four out of five internally displaced persons living in camps are in overcrowded conditions with makeshift and temporary shelters built in close proximity to each other, making physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 impossible,” it said.

Aid workers are working with Borno State authorities to swiftly implement a camp decongestion plan that prioritises the safe and voluntary relocation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in most critical situations. Safe access to more land and available resources will be crucial for the expansion of IDPs camps, it said.

The agency said across the three crisis-affected states, 10.6 million people out of a total of 13 million, four in five people would need some form of humanitarian assistance in 2020.

The figure represents 49 per cent increase in the number of people in need of aid since 2019 up from 7.1 million, mainly due to increasing violence and the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

On August 10, 2020, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari held a closed-door meeting with governors from the Northeast, military chiefs and other heads of security services to address the security situation in the region.

The president assured the governors efforts were underway to end the insurgency which has deprived populations of livelihoods and endangered humanitarian work.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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