Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced plans to decongest camps occupied by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), especially in the North-East, with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, stated this in Abuja when IOM Director Jeffery Labovitz paid her a visit.
In a statement signed by her Special Adviser on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, Farouq said: “Let me use this opportunity to acknowledge your efforts and contribution in delivering humanitarian response in the North East. IOM has been a great partner.
“We are faced with issues of irregular migration, human trafficking and internal displacement, so I appreciate the IOM for delivering humanitarian responses especially in the North-Eastern part of this country where we have the major humanitarian challenge.
“The issue of camp decongestion is an issue the ministry is taking very seriously and I recall in a meeting with the Chief of Mission, and his team, we stated clearly that the Ministry is focused on durable solutions in order to do away with these camps as much as possible.
“Therefore, we look forward to working with IOM and other relevant partners in implementing plans targeted at decongestion of the camps.
“The program is an integral aspect of our approach to Transition and Nexus. The North East Development Commission was created specifically to focus on early recovery of the North East by supporting them through resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the destroyed communities.
“We look forward to working with you and other relevant partners in implementing these plans, in order to decongest the camps because they can only be resettled when these areas are safe for them to be returned with dignity.
“We are working towards utilizing humanitarian, development and peace nexus approach in developing national strategies that guarantee coherence, peace and stability, especially as we are now facing security challenges in the North West region of Nigeria.
“We welcome support in developing the strategy as well as strengthening the capacity of the existing National and state interventions especially in the North West.”
Meanwhile, Labovitz, who was accompanied by the Chief of Mission Franze Celestin, planned visiting Bama and Dikwa communities in Borno State, to ascertain the state of the IDP camps.
Labovitz, who commended the Ministry for its intervention in reaching out to Internally Displacement Persons, stated that IOM’s global responsibility would support in camp coordination and camp management responsibilities across the country.
“We recognize the great energy you bring and the challenges in assisting people at different locations. We have a good team and I hope that we can work together. Our priority is to visit the affected camps in the North East and see what the activities entail. We have a great responsibility to support the government of Nigeria,” he said.