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United Nations urges support for refugees


In this photo taken on September 15, 2016 women and children queue to enter one of the Unicef nutrition clinics at the Muna makeshift camp which houses more than 16,000 IDPs (internaly displaced people) on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State, northeastern Nigeria.<br />Aid agencies have long warned about the risk of food shortages in northeast Nigeria because of the conflict, which has killed at least 20,000 since 2009 and left more than 2.6 million homeless. In July, the United Nations said nearly 250,000 children under five could suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year in Borno state alone and one in five — some 50,000 — could die. / AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mr. Philipo Grandi, has urged countries and host communities to provide long-term support for refugees.

He made the call while marking the World Refugees Day with Cameroonian refugees at Anyeke Refugees Camp in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.

He disclosed that 68.5 million people were currently living across the globe as refugees.


Grandi expressed concern about the growing number of refugees and stressed the need for support, to enable them return home, or build new lives elsewhere, if necessary.

The High Commissioner also urged refugees’ involvement in activities in their areas of abode to realise their potentials.

He disclosed plans to adopt a global compact on refugees this year, to realise their integration in the host communities.

Grandi stressed that helping refugees to rebuild their lives was necessary to make them have access to education, accommodation and employment.

He said: “On World Refugees Day, it’s time to recognise their humanity in action and challenge ourselves, and others to join them in receiving and supporting refugees in our schools, neighbourhoods, and workplaces.”

In his address, the UNHCR Head of Office, Adikpo, Mr. Thomas Faustini, solicited amicable resolution of conflicts to avoid displacement.

Faustini commended the Federal and Benue State government, as well as Non-Governmental Organisations that are taking care of the Cameroonian refugees.


The Senior Desk Officer, Geneva, Mr. Zulqarnain Anjum, said refugees who were of school age would be enrolled, while provision would be made for them to have extra curricular activities to build their capacities.

The Chairman, Kwande Local Government Area, Mr. Terdoo Nyor Kente, who was represented by the Vice Chairman, Mr. Andrew Orvande Kente, lauded the host community for donating farmlands to the refugees.

Also, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in a video message to mark the day, reported that at least one person was displaced every two seconds in 2017.

“We must all think about what more we can do to help, as the answer begins with unity and solidarity,” he said.

Guterres said the planned Global Compact on Refugees would be presented to the international community meeting at UN Headquarters in New York.

He said, it offers, “a way forward,” while also recognising the contributions that refugees make to the societies hosting them.

In Borno State, the Chairperson of Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Hajiya Yabawa Kolo, lauded corporate organisations and politicians for supporting displaced persons.

Kolo spoke in Maiduguri at the Dalori Bakassi resettlement camps.

According to her, the intervention of organisations and politicians from Niger and Cameroon had provided them with livelihoods and food security.

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