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Humanitarian Bulletin Nigeria Issue 07 | October 2015

Situation Report
Originally published
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  • Innovative livelihood strategies assist integration of IDPs into host communities in Gombe.

  • Over 100,000 people have been displaced by flooding in 11 states nationwide.

  • Over 2.2 million displaced, according to the latest round of the Displacement Tracking Matrix.

  • Displaced teachers play a prominent role in continuing education in IDP camps and host communities.

Spotlight on Gombe: life and livelihoods in the host communities

There are some key differences in the lives and livelihoods of many IDPs in Gombe, in comparison to their counterparts in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

For starters, Gombe has no IDP camps. The only one was closed down in February 2015 because it was believed by the authorities to have become a target for Boko Haram.

The authorities considered that it would be safer for IDPs to be in host communities.

Host communities in Gombe State are currently housing IDPs from Adamawa, Benue,

Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe. According to Round 6 of the Displacement Tracking Matrix, 76 per cent of the IDPs are from Borno, and 20 per cent from Yobe.

The Gombe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has identified four categories of IDPs in the state:

1. Those who at the onset of violence in Maiduguri left their homes, taking with them their means of livelihood and possessions. Members of this group are largely traders.

2. Those who, as problems began to escalate, left their homes before they were directly attacked. They were able to flee with their means of livelihood.

3. Those who fled following direct attacks. This group comprises mostly civil servants, artisans and tradesmen. As they had to leave at speed they could take little. This group reported to SEMA to be registered, and receive assistance.

4. Those who lost everything. In Gombe, this group largely comes from Goza, Damboa and Bama LGAs in Borno. Their communities were attacked and destroyed, and they arrived in Gombe with nothing. They also reported to SEMA to be registered, and were relocated to the IDP camp prior to its closure in February 2015.

Groups 1 and 2 are living independently, and are not being assisted by the Government or humanitarian partners. Some rent houses; many have bought houses. They are believed to be living by their original livelihood strategies, and are integrating into Gombe society.

As such, the official numbers of IDPs in Gombe State cover only IDPs in groups 3 and 4: those who have registered with SEMA, and who are currently living in host communities.

IDPs in groups 1 and 2 have also fled the insurgency, but are not in need of assistance.
The registration of IDPs is self-selecting, and only those who are in need of assistance will register with the authorities. In Nigeria, registered IDPs are from groups 3 and 4.

Registration is a result of having no other option and, according to SEMA and humanitarian partners on the ground, group 4 constitutes the majority of the IDPs receiving humanitarian assistance. The official figure for the state in DTM Round 6 is 27,025 people, all of whom are in need of assistance.

Given the fact that only groups 3 and 4 are registered, this figure is not representative of how many individuals fled the violence in the North-East, but rather how many displaced individuals in the state are vulnerable, and in need. The total number of people who fled their homes is unknown, not just in Gombe but for the whole crisis.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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