IDPS’ HUMANITARIAN, SOCIAL SERVICES IN NORTHEAST COST $462M

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The Director of Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Alexandra Bilak; has said that provision of basic humanitarian needs to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps and host communities cost $462 million (N166.32 billion) a year. About 7.7 million people were sacked from their communities; since 2013 by Boko Haram insurgency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. According to her, it is costing a lot of money to provide immediate ‘humanitarian support and basic needs’ to IDPs in camps. Bilak disclosed this Monday in an exclusive interview at the International Airport, Maiduguri, Borno state. She said when the centre (IDMC) visited Teachers Village IDP camp; there are massive humanitarian needs of people. She said that the main priority of governments and international community is to meet basic needs of IDPs in camps and host communities. Her words: “We’re looking at tens of thousands of IDPs right now.

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The majority of them are women and children below the age of five. “At the Teachers Village camp, there are 22,000 IDPs with only one school with 12 classrooms. “The first priority of governments and international community is to secure the physical safety of IDPs and their social economic fabric within communities.” According to her, this could enable IDPs return to communities, after being secured without any fear. “Planning for the IDP returnees has to be done properly,” she said. Continued: “One of the big issues; we have discussed; is having access to information. “Such information will allow governments and international community to make informed decision upon which people can return. “For return of IDPs become successful, the required needed support be met in the liberated communities.” She said there is need for more “investments and coordination” between all the partners operating in Northeast to provided immediate support. Bilak said meeting humanitarian priorities are before the long term investments in data, education, farming and socioeconomic development.

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She told The Guardian that there are limited basic services right now in the formal IDP camps and host communities. Speaking on IDPs’ needs, she said: “We heard of children in camps dying of diseases and malnutrition. “Women have no access to income generation activities; while men, who feel they are losing their roles as the bread winners and care givers of families,” she said. She warned that what is going to happen to the generation of children as they grow up become adults? “From a social perspective, all of these have a cost,” said Bilak.

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