CORE UNHCR INTERVENTIONS IN NIGERIA
UNHCR Nigeria’s interventions cover refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and issues of stateless people. During the reporting period, UNHCR and partners reached more than thirty-four thousand individuals in Nigeria with protection and material assistance.
As the lead Refugee and Protection agency, UNHCR Nigeria’s interventions for the North-East IDP and Cameroon refugee situations focus on the following:
Protection Monitoring and Response;
Supporting activities related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Psychosocial Counselling
Provision of material assistance such as shelter, food and non-food items (NFIs);
Livelihood and Peacebuilding;
Camp Management Camp Coordination (CCCM) support;
Capacity building and Awareness-raising;
Registration of new arrivals and returnees
Vulnerability Screening; and
Access to justice
The North-East Situation
The security situation in North-East Nigeria remained generally fluid and unpredictable during the month of April. Twenty-six Boko Haram related incidents ranging from suicide bombings to attacks against military and civilian infrastructure were recorded during the period under review, all of them taking place in Borno – the most affected state by the current insurgency.
Even though the military is making further advances and recapturing areas previously occupied by Boko Haram, government counter-insurgency measures compounded by indiscriminate attacks remain causes of further and new population displacements. The situation could drag on in the months ahead as the Nigerian military, and its regional counterparts have embarked on ‘Operation Last Hold’ in the final push against Boko Haram.
Access to ‘newly liberated areas’ remains a challenge for humanitarian workers as the only means of transport is the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS).
Notwithstanding the difficult operating environment and the increasingly precarious situation, UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies remain engaged where possible, through local partners and the rotational deployments of its national and international staff to deliver services to people desperately in need of protection and other life-saving assistance in the affected areas.
UNHCR has maintained its advocacy for appropriate actions by government to address the physical protection of the displaced and to ensure that the civilian character of camps is not compromised. For example, reinforcing security in and around the camps and redeploying police presence and re-establishing civilian administrations in newly liberated areas to ensure that the civil liberties of the displaced are restored.
Preparations continued during the period between UNHCR and its Nigerian and Cameroonian government counterparts about efforts to operationalize the March 2017 Tripartite Agreement for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees residing in Cameroon. These include technical discussions to begin the actual repatriation of the first batch of some 4,000 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon to Adamawa State. UNHCR and the governments of Nigeria and Cameroon are reassessing logistics and security measures for the movement of returnees to be conducted in safety and dignity in line with the provisions of the Tripartite Agreement.