Nigeria’s National Commission for Refugees has reported the presence of a total of 10,000 refugees and more than 80,000 internally displaced persons in Nigeria.
The figures were released by Hajiya Hadiza Kangiwa, the Federal Commissioner for Refugees on Friday to mark the 2009 World Refugees Day, with the theme “Real people, real needs.” Statistics are related to the period between January 2008 and June 2009.
“It is increasingly becoming a challenge to meet the most basic needs of these persons,” she said.
Kangiwa said this year’s theme underpinned the need to resolve the challenges by all stakeholders to ensure that the basic requirements of refugees were met and durable solutions identified.
The commissioner stressed the need to reflect on forced displacement situations. While solutions are being awaited, basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, education, sanitation and security should not be forgotten, she said.
“These people sometimes miss on social and family structures that we sometimes take for granted with great consequences,” Kangiwa said.
According to her, the country currently hosts refugees from Sudan, Chad, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and some residual cases from Liberia and Sierra Leone.
In a speech, Alphose Malanda, the representative for Nigeria, the Economic Community of West African States and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, said there were more than 42 million people uprooted by conflict and persecution around the world.
“Among the 42 million uprooted people across the world, nearly six million of them are refugees who have been in exile, mostly in camps for five years or longer in what humanitarians call protracted refugee situations.”
Malanda noted that these interminable refugee situations do not include the millions more uprooted people who are displaced within their own countries and who far out-number the trans-border refugees. source