FG Promises to Get All Children in IDPs’ Camps Back to School

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Michael Olugbode in Abuja

The federal government has promised to ensure the enrollment of all refugee children of school age and those in internally displaced persons’ (IDPs’) camps in schools by 2023 and to provide them equal opportunities at secondary and tertiary education levels.

The Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Hajiya Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim made the pledge on Tuesday, during the implementation of the global Compact on refugees (GCR) in Nigeria.

Sulaiman-Ibrahim while promising that Nigeria would strengthen protection by ensuring the integrity of the asylum system in line with international legal instruments and freedom of movement for Refugees, IDP and returnees, said open-door policy as well as promoting legal pathways to durable solutions would be provided.

She said: “We will ensure all durable solutions for refugees and IDP are effectively available and accessible, in consultation with affected populations and host communities, with particular attention to children, youth, women, the elderly, persons with disability, and other vulnerable groups,” adding that Nigeria would reinforce national, state and local capacity to ensure the sustainability of returns local integration.

She reiterated the federal government’s commitment to pursuing regional approaches to addressing force displacement, including through enhance information exchange on security and population movements.

In order to achieve some of these plans, the NCFRMI, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have produced roadmap, which would serve as a guide for the implementation of the pledges with appropriate coordination structures and mechanism for follow up.

The roadmap lays out concrete steps and priorities, identifies operational entry points and defines indicator for measuring short and longer term progress in areas such as health, education, water, sanitation, jobs and livelihood, energy, infrastructure, solutions and protection capacity.

UNHCR Representative to Nigeria, Chansa Kapaya said Nigeria’s achievements in showing solidarity with displaced persons and affected host communities predates the formal adoption of the global Compact on refugees in 2018.

She added: “Today, Nigeria has in place a favorable protection environment for refugees and has made progress in terms of localizing and operationalizing the GCR, starting from favourable asylum policy and provision to refugees, IDP and Returnees to affected host communities.”

Also speaking, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on IDPs and Refugees, Muhammad Umar Jega commended the UNHCR for all their efforts to fulfil the pledges, adding that their continued support, collaboration and synergy would help to bring maximum result.