About 818 Nigerian refugees on Saturday arrived in Banki, Borno State, amid inadequate humanitarian intervention. This was made known in a statement on Sunday by Mr Hanson Tamfu, External Relations Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Abuja.
The UNHCR official disclosed that the 818 refugees include 151 male adult, 146 female adult and 521 children.
He said that the refugees had added to the influx of Nigerians who returned to the country in the past weeks.
He said that the influx would compound the yawing gaps of needs already overstretched in catering for IDPs including shelter, food, core relief items hygiene kits among others.
Tamfu said that the UNHCR had taken urgent steps to address the challenges as it had informed the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food for the new arrivals.
He said that the agency had also discussed with the military to provide firewood for cooking and discussed with the Borno State Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (MRRR) to set up emergency reception tent.
He said that the refugees would be kept in the tent pending completion of the reception centre this Wednesday.
Tamfu said that the WFP had promised to look into the possibility of providing dry food ration immediately and the military was undergoing serious screening of the returnees.
He said that UNHCR and partners were monitoring other urgent needs that might arise.
He said that a quick survey indicated that water was available in the camp, the condition of the returnees was stabl.
Tamfu added that some of them came with food rations and were already looking for means of cooking, especially those fasting.
It will be recalled that between April 9 and May 22, a total of 12,202 Nigerian refugees returned spontaneously from the Minawowa refugees’ camp in Cameroon.
The main areas of return are Banki, Pulka, Gwoza and Bama in Borno State.
UNHCR had expressed worry over the influx of the refugees explaining that the return was sudden and without adequate preparations on ground to cater for the refugees.