The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said that 17,053 babies were given birth to by internally displaced women in 18 locations in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria since 2019.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the figure represents information of babies who have been registered between 2019 and May 2021.
Frantz Celestine, the IOM chief of mission, said the agency, with Nigeria’s National Population Commission (NPC), and UNICEF issued birth certificates to the children.
According to him, the identity of the children was paramount and also falls within its Displacement Matrix data which it shares with other stakeholders intervening in the Northeast.
“We do biometric data collection so that we know exactly the number of people who have been displaced, so that the service we provide to them can be effective,” Celestine said.
“This is important for food distribution, for non-food items distribution, it is also important for medical provision.”
“On the number of children that were born in the camps, the last time I checked, those we had taken the biometrics and issued with birth certificates between 2019 and May 2021 were 17,053,” Celestine said.
Celestine said the data helps to identify those who have been displaced, saying, “ If you don’t have an identity you do not exist in the eyes of the government and the law.”
He said it was important for the IOM that despite the conditions they found themselves in, the children were identified.
Since 2009, Northeast Nigeria has been the center of Boko Haram insurgency, with so many destructions and attacks that have displaced many people.
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