World Refugee Day: No IDP or refugee should be forced to leave camp —UN – The Punch

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Kayode Idowu, Maiduguri The United Nations has warned that no internally displaced person or refugee should be compelled to leave a camp. It said refugees or IDPs should be allowed to “voluntarily return home, in safety and dignity, when conditions are conducive for return or integrate into host communities or settle in an area of their choice,” In his remarks in Maiduguri at the celebration of World Refugee Day with the theme: “Step with Refugees”, Mr. Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, said there are still enormous challenges with millions of IDPs and returnees continuing to live in crowded camps and lacking basic necessities which have led to serious protection challenges.” He said, “The provision of timely, enhanced and unhindered assistance including adequate food, shelter, health, water/sanitation and education is of paramount importance.” READ ALSO: Pay attention to security, education, health, agriculture, Buhari tells govs Kallon said, “This calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to ensure that these basic needs are provided to alleviate the suffering of the displaced people as efforts to find durable solutions are also intensified, so that they can voluntarily return home, in safety and dignity, when conditions are conducive for return or integrate into host communities or settle in an area of their choice. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator while lamenting that “most displaced persons have lost their homes, livelihood, community support, family structure, safety and security,” said “they are in need of durable solutions to rebuild their lives. The humanitarian community will continue to support the host government in the provision of protection and assistance and in the search for durable solutions.” He said: “The Northeast crisis is fundamentally a protection crisis. The humanitarian community is working with (Borno) state government to respond to the needs of IDPs and returnees.” Kallon who decried that over 7.1 million persons in the Northeast are in need of humanitarian assistance, disclosed that “in 2018, the number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million. He added, “Today, in the Northeast, 1.8 million people are internally displaced in the three States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, with 80 per cent of them in Borno state. One in four IDPs are under the age of five, and 80 per cent are women and children.” Also speaking at the occasion, the chairperson of Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Hajiya Yabawa Kolo lamented that “the overall growth in mass displacement has continued to exceed the rate at which solutions are being found.” DOWNLOAD THE PUNCH NEWS APP NOW ON