Wednesday, June 21, 2017 12:01 am
The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday announced Federal Government’s plans to unveil a National Integrated framework for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) by September.
The acting president, who was represented by Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, made this known at a ceremony to commemorate the 2017 World Refugees Day on Tuesday in Abuja.
Osinbajo said that the framework would integrate appropriate interventions through effective utilisation of data, research and planning for the return, resettlement, rehabilitation and reintegration of all persons of concern.
He said that the new approach would be a shift from relief dependent measures to real and measurable durable solution strategies.
He explained that the framework of intervention is a demonstration of commitments of the Nigerian government towards a more responsive, radical and creative approach to providing durable solutions for displaced persons.
“Our responsibility is to provide a more coordinated and harmonised approach to the Nigerian humanitarian environment that guarantees that future which they hope for because no one becomes a refugee or an IDP by choice.
“Working with all key humanitarian stakeholders, the National Commission for Refugees Migrants and IDPs shall unveil a National Integrated Strategic Framework for Intervention for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs within the next three months.
“I wish to express my gratitude to the government of Cameroon, Chad and Niger who hosted and are still hosting Nigerian refugees at the time the insurgents were ravaging.
“This show of solidarity is what we need to survive and confront whatever challenges that we encounter both as a region and as individual nations,’’ Osinbajo said.
He said that Nigeria was committed to the smooth implementation of the tripartite agreement with Cameroon and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian Refugees in Cameroon.
He appreciated UNHCR, other UN agencies, international and Civil Society Organisations for their support and the Military for a successful operation which contributed to the willingness of displaced persons to return home.
The Federal Commissioner, NCFRMI, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, said that the World Refugee Day was set aside to reflect on the challenges faced by refugees and how to help to positively shape their future.
NCFRMI is the acronym for the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally displaced persons.
She said that a survey by the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent revealed that global migration had reached unprecedented dimensions with 60 million people currently displaced globally.
She said that as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency, about 180,000 Nigerians were living as refugees in Cameroon, Niger and Chad, while 1,409 refugees from other countries with 614 asylum seekers are currently taking shelter in Nigeria.
Farouq said that the new framework contained approach that will effectively and efficiently cater for refugees who seek safety, solace and care in Nigeria.
She stressed the need for better coordination between the Federal and State Governments in interventions and the inclusion of organised private sector to amplify and enhance the humanitarian response as it pertained to refugees.
Also, Mr Jose-Canhandula, UNHCR Country Representative to Nigeria, noted that Nigeria at a point had the third largest humanitarian crises globally.
He said that as protection agency, UNHCR had availed itself to joining the government and concerned partners to foster the protection of the people in the condition of refugees and IDPs.
Speaking on behalf of the refugees, Mr Germaine Ukumu, said the day was important to them as it celebrates the resilience of millions of people who had been forced to flee their countries for safety.
He appreciated the Nigerian government for its hospitality and support to alleviating the sufferings of refugees.
Ukumu said refugees were still faced with the challenges of inadequate food, education, security and human dignity, noting that they deserved better.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2017 World Refugee Day with theme “we stand together with refugees and IDPs’’ was organised by the NCFRMI, UNHCR and the ECOWAS Commission. (NAN)