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World Refugee Day: Challenges persist for evacuees

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Every year, millions of people are forced to flee from their homes in order to keep safe from war, persecution or natural disasters.

Being far away from home, and usually in uncomfortable temporary abodes. Refugees have to struggle against different odds to survive.

To ameliorate their struggles, the international World Refugee Day was declared with the aims to raise awareness of issues which affects these people across the world.

In 2001, UN General Assembly declared that 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day. It is observed in more than 100 countries and involves government officials, humanitarian workers, celebrities, civilians and refugees.

The 2019 World Refugee Day is themed “StepWithRefugees — Take A Step on World Refugee Day. It aims to advocate support for refugees globally.

The latest figures from the United Nations (UN) suggest that every minute, around 25 people have to leave everything behind in search of a safer life in a refugee camp.

Currently, Nigerian has about 239,000 refugees and about 2 million internally displaced persons.

Out of 104,884 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, 102,963 are in the Far North region, displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Refugee camps are usually managed by charities and can be as big as cities. However, living conditions in these camps can be very poor, and they are often cramped and overcrowded.

Some camps have hospitals and even schools where children can continue with their education. Other camps lack all these.

The Nigerian refugee crisis is in its sixth year. Since extreme violent attacks of the Islamist sect Boko Haram spilt over the borders of north-eastern Nigeria into neighbouring countries in 2014, Cameroon, Chad and Niger got drawn into a devastating regional conflict.

The crisis has been heightened by conflict-induced food insecurity and severe malnutrition, which have risen to critical levels in all four countries. Despite the efforts of governments and humanitarian aid in 2017, some 4.5 million people remain food insecure and will depend on assistance.

The challenges of protecting the displaced are compounded by a deteriorating security situation as well as socio-economic fragility, with communities in the Sahel region facing chronic poverty, a harsh climate, recurrent epidemics, poor infrastructure and limited access to basic services.


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