By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA—Nigeria now has a refugee population of 239, 834, a situation caused by Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, Vanguard has learned.
This is contained in a published report of humanitarian relief intervention by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, which was released recently.
According to the report, “there are currently 20,804 displaced Nigerians living in the Republic of Chad, 80,709 in the Republic of Cameroun and 138, 321 in the Republic in Niger.”
The report, however, added that about 29,581 Nigerians who fled their communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states to the Republic of Niger and Cameroun, as a result of the insurgency, had voluntarily returned last year.
According to the report, there were 13,046 Nigerian returnees from Niger Republic in May 2015 who were received at Geidam, Yobe State, while between April and December, 2015 NEMA received about 16,595 Nigerians that had voluntarily returned from Cameroon through the Sahuda border crossing area, near Mubi, Adamawa State.
“Some of the Nigerians that fled to neighbouring countries (Niger, Chad and Cameroon) were provided with humanitarian relief support by the Federal Government of Nigeria through NEMA to alleviate their suffering.
‘’ The displaced Nigerians have also received humanitarian supports from the host governments, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, the host communities and Nigerian citizens living in the three host countries,” the report said.
The report added that due to the successes recorded by the Nigerian military with the support of the Multi-National Joint Military Task Force, MNJTF, in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents, the humanitarian dashboard was fast changing.
The report added: “The focus is gradually shifting towards Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Recovery and dignified return of IDPs back home, while process for the return of Nigerian refugees from neighbouring countries is equally on-going.
“NEMA will continue to support and work towards bridging the identified gaps in humanitarian response through enhanced coordination, capacity building and strengthening of collaboration with the affected states and relevant stakeholders, including line MDAs, local and international response organizations and the UN system.”