Wednesday, January 20, 2016

UN Raises Alarm Over Plight of Nigerian Refugees in Niger
By Abdullateef Salau
Nigeria Daily Trust
Jan 21 2016 4:40AM

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has raised an alarm over the plight of the Nigerians refugees in south-east Niger, where some 100,000 people who fled to escape Boko Haram violence are taking refuge. The Nigerian refugees, according to UNHCR, are among the newly displaced local villagers in south-east Niger’s Diffa region.

UNHCR, in a statement released yesterday, described the plight of the displaced as “very serious with acute shortages of shelter and non-food items.”

The statement quoted Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the Office of the UNHCR as saying: “many newly displaced, who have sought shelter alongside Niger’s National Route No. 1, are without protection by the Niger army. Moreover, they do not have adequate access to water sanitation, shelter and school.”

Edwards noted that providing assistance and shelter is all the more difficult because people are living in spontaneous sites rather than in a camp environment. The UN refugee agency therefore appealed for urgent humanitarian assistance and funding to provide assistance for the displaced. Edwards said the agency’s current Niger operation is about half funded with $24.9 million received against overall requirements of $51 million, calling on donors for extra support to help this vulnerable population.

The conflict in north-east Nigeria has forced more than 220,300 people to find refuge in neighbouring countries such as Niger, Cameroon, and Chad since 2013. In Niger, insurgent incursions had displaced an estimated 50,000 people within the country, according to UNHCR.


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