Sesor has joined the international community to commemorate the 2018 World Refugee Day, Wednesday, June 20, while calling for renewed commitment to help the displaced rebuild their lives.
This year with the theme ‘Now more than ever, we need to stand with Refugees’, the day is observed annually to show solidarity with the plight of millions of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) the world over and to acknowledge their strength and resilience as they fight to survive and rebuild their lives.
In Nigeria, violence in parts of the country has left over two million Nigerians displaced internally (NCFRMI, 2018), and taking refuge in camps and host communities. Nigeria is also hosting over 20,000 refugees right now from Cameroun (UNHCR, 2018).
According a statement from Sesor, IDPs and refugees continue to experience heightened vulnerability and protection issues and in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
The number of IDPs in Nigeria, especially as a result of conflict, continues to grow.
Sesor believes that the number of IDPs across the country is higher than the official figures.
“We call for the expansion of the Displacement Tracking Matrix which last round released in April 2018 only accounted for those displaced in the North East and parts of Taraba to include other affected areas such as Zamfara, Benue and Nasarawa. This will give us a better idea of the magnitude of the problem and better equip all stakeholders to work to meet our obligations to the displaced as outlined in pertinent treaties and international instruments we have signed up to as a country,” the statement declared.
The statement explained that it is important to note that many displaced by conflict have fled to major cities in Nigeria including Lagos and Benin, adding to the numbers of those who have already been displaced by natural disasters such as floods in our cities.
Sesor calls on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) to work with relevant state agencies to ascertain the true numbers of the displaced within these states. Communal conflicts also contribute to the displacement of many Nigerians and these are rarely accounted for in official displacement figures.
The non-governmental organisation says it continues to mobilise resources and work to provide emergency relief and rehabilitation services to displaced persons in Lagos and the Middle Belt, to enable them survive and thrive, in line with global best practices.
While reiterating the call for renewed commitment from all stakeholders towards supporting refugees and the internally displaced, Sesor urges every Nigerian to stand with the displaced and help them rebuild their lives.
Over the next few weeks, Sesor says it will be running an info-series on the impact of displacement vis-a-vis the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on its online and social media platforms.
Technically speaking, IDPs are displaced persons who are still within their own country, while refugees are displaced persons who have sought refuge in another country.