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4,000 Nigerian Refugees return from Niger Republic


About 4,000 Nigerian refugees who fled their homes at the peak of insurgent attacks have returned home from the Niger Republic in the past one month. This was disclosed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) in its North-East Humanitarian Situation Report.
According to the report, the returnees were registered in various locations in Borno State for the month of October. The fact sheet showed that 1,470 returnees were registered at Gwoza; 498 Kukawa, 374 Ngala and 250 persons recorded at Dikwa.
According to UN-OCHA, humanitarian organizations had mobilized and provided shelter and clothing items for the returnees. With the end of the rainy season, humanitarian bodies had also scaled up activities to provide emergency shelter to the displaced persons in Monguno 2,560 persons; Damboa 2,075; Bama 2,000; Gwoza 1,560; Kala-Balge 1,000; Mobar 975; Dikwa 680; Kaga 540; Yola North 300, Damaturu 181 and Jere 158.
To address the issue of statelessness, about 688, 314 persons were captured in biometric registration exercises in Bama, Damboa, Konduga and Ngala Local Government Councils of Borno, as well as Madagali and Yola South in Adamawa. 102,800 returnees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) under 17 years of age to secure Birth Registration Certificates in Damasak, Banki, Gamboru-Ngala and Monguno communities in Borno State. Similarly, some 20,000 displaced persons were supported to obtain a statutory declaration of age and indigene letters required for the issuance of National Identification Card.
Regarding protection against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the report indicates that 71,850 women were supported and provided with hygiene kits while 12, 650 received psycho-social support.  1, 250 humanitarian workers and volunteers were trained on protection against GBV, while 52,750 members of the community were trained on best practices to promote prevention of gender-based violence. “Over 18,650 children received psycho-social support, 25 children reunited with their families and 600 others freed from armed groups benefited from integrated child protection services,” it said.
OCHA noted that the Tripartite Commission for the Voluntary Repatriation of Nigerian Refugees from Cameroun would continue visitation to the affected areas as part of the highlights of activities for 2018. It disclosed that delegations from Cameroun and Niger were billed to visit Adamawa, Yobe, and Damasak, to assess areas identified for receiving the first batch of returnees expected to arrive in January. A 16-day sensitization campaign will be conducted in December, as part of activities to commemorate International Day to End Violence against Women.
According to the document, the UN agency in partnership with humanitarian actors would prioritize planning for humanitarian response activities based on the review of the 2017 strategy and the observed evolving needs to upgrade shelter quality, harmonization and camp management. “With the dry season and continued military operations, new humanitarian needs are expected to rise. To cope, the sector is updating its contingency plan with strong emphasis on potentially needed preposition of materials and strengthening of reception capacity.”

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