No fewer than 4,000 Nigerian refugees have returned home from Niger Republic in the past one month, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN-OCHA, has said.
The office said in its North-East Humanitarian Situation Report that 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.
OCHA explained that the affected persons were forced to flee their homes in the heat of Boko Haram insurgents’ attacks in the northeast region.
According to the UN agency, humanitarian organisations had mobilised and provided shelter and clothing items for the returnees.
It said that humanitarian bodies had also scaled up activities to provide emergency shelter to the displaced persons and address the problem occasioned by the rainy season.
“With the end of rainy season, the sector has scaled up its provision of emergency and reinforced shelter in Monguno 2,560; 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.
“The sector has particularly been focusing with other sectors on addressing the congestion and major gaps in the existing site in Bama and speed up the construction of a new site,” the UN agency said.
It disclosed that 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.
It added that to address the issue of statelessness, the sector assisted 102,800 returnees and Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, under 17 years of age to secure Birth Registration Certificates in Damasak, Banki, Gamburu-Ngala and Monguno communities in Borno State.
Similarly, some 20,000 displaced persons were supported to obtain statutory declaration of age and indigene letters required for the issuance of National Identification Card.
On protection against Gender-Based Violence, GBV, the document showed that 71,850 women were supported and provided with hygiene kits while 12, 650 received psycho-social support.
It further disclosed that 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 sensitisation campaign would 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 prioritise planning for humanitarian response activities based on the review of the 2017 strategy and the observed evolving needs to upgrade shelter quality, harmonisation 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,” it said.