FG reaffirms commitment to displaced persons, strengthens UNHCR partnership

The Nigerian Government has reaffirmed its dedication to addressing the challenges faced by displaced persons within the country and strengthening its partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

This commitment was announced during a recent courtesy visit by the UNHCR Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Arjun Jain, to the Ministry of Interior.

Permanent Secretary, Dr. Aishetu Gogo Ndayako, who represented the Honourable Minister of Interior, warmly welcomed Mr. Jain and his delegation.

Dr. Ndayako emphasized the Ministry’s openness to partnerships in areas discussed with the UNHCR, particularly focusing on addressing statelessness and supporting the children of naturalized Nigerians.

She highlighted the need for stronger cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure the recognition and issuance of bonafide travel documents for these individuals.

Dr. Ndayako also addressed the ongoing issues at the Nigeria-Cameroon border, particularly concerning the Bakassi Returnees. She assured that this issue remains a key part of the National Action Plan, emphasizing the importance of implementing effective solutions.

In terms of livelihood support for displaced persons, Dr. Ndayako proposed a coordinated approach involving the Ministry of Agriculture, the North East Development Commission (NEDC), and other relevant bodies.

She suggested the formation of a joint implementation committee to devise livelihood solutions tailored to the specific geographical areas of displaced populations.

Mr. Jain expressed his gratitude to the Ministry for its continuous support towards refugees over the years, noting that the Ministry of Interior is a crucial partner in the UNHCR’s efforts.

He shared the latest global data, indicating that out of 120 million displaced persons worldwide, three per cent are Nigerians.

The meeting concluded with a mutual commitment to strengthen collaboration between the Ministry of Interior and the UNHCR to ensure better support and solutions for refugees and displaced persons in Nigeria.

The Department of Citizenship and Business will represent the Ministry on various committees, in collaboration with other ministries, to effectively address the livelihood challenges faced by displaced persons.

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