Nigeria Situation: UNHCR Situational Update 01 – 31 July 2017
1,825,321 * IDPs in Nigeria
- 1.75 million displaced by the insurgency
205,403 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, Chad and Niger as of 30 July 2017 (or latest figures available).
Highlights and Operational Context
In Nigeria, lack of road access to IDP hosting sites and return areas outside Maiduguri severely affected the humanitarian response. Boko Haram targeted and looted relief convoys, taking drivers and staff hostage in exchange for ransom. UN helicopters remain the only means of transport for humanitarian workers in the area. In Maiduguri, attacks on the town and on IDP camps made humanitarian interventions and service delivery particularly challenging.
Security restrictions in place to prevent infiltrations and potential attacks hindered efforts to decongest IDP camps in Banki and Ngala, in Borno State, on the border with Cameroon. UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies are concerned by the detrimental impact these restrictions are having on their capacity to expand services such as shelter and access to firewood and on the ability of returnees and IDPs to engage in farming and other productive activities. Living conditions are becoming increasingly dire as the population remains overly dependent on humanitarian assistance. Under the current circumstances, women and children continue to be subjected to abuse and exploitation in exchange for services.
In Cameroon’s Minawao camp, awareness-raising activities on the modalities of the Tripartite Agreement and on the current conditions in Bama, Banki, Gwoza and Pulka (Nigeria) continued to take place. No new spontaneous return movements from Minawao camp to Nigeria were reported during the month.
In collaboration with UNHCR and REACH, the Shelter/NFI working group in Niger’s Diffa region completed a widespread needs assessment in July. The exercise, which had started in May, aimed to identify shelter and NFI distributions that took place during the past 6 months for the displaced population in the region, and to identify shelter and NFI needs and distribution gaps to improve immediate response planning.
As of mid-July, Chad’s ‘Lac’ region witnessed the arrival of large groups of people from Niger. The Chadian Government’s Refugee Commission carried out preliminary assessments and registration. According to this assessment, more than 6,600 persons have settled not far from the Dar Es Salam refugee camp. New arrivals stated they had come from the villages of Kidjindi, Ankadndougoune and Tchortchouri, in the N’Guiguimi vicinity of eastern Diffa. The group claimed to have come from central Chad originally but that their grandparents had left decades ago, owing, among other reasons, to persecution by the Habre regime. UNHCR, OCHA and IOM visits to the site corroborated this information and 11 people were found to have documentation supporting their Niger citizenship. The new arrivals told the UNHCR team that they had left Niger following the withdrawal of Chadian soldiers patrolling the area. UNHCR is currently leading a needs assessment at the site and has dispatched trucks containing NFIs to cover the needs of 10,000 people. The new arrivals have been vaccinated against hepatitis E and meningitis. The status of these new arrivals is being determined in collaboration with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and the Refugee Commission. It is expected that more people will arrive in the weeks to come, owing to ongoing insecurity in Niger.