UN says 80,000 Nigerians displaced from north-east since Nov 2018

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says more than 80,000 Nigerians in the north-east region have been displaced since November 2018.

The UN relief agency said the figure was in addition to the two million people already displaced by violence, or forced across Nigeria’s borders as refugees.

OCHA said in 2018, relief organisations had estimated that 7.7 million people required urgent life-saving assistance.

The agency said a recent upsurge in clashes between non-state armed groups and the state security forces was forcing UN agencies and their partners to reassess the needs on the ground.

It said a 90-day plan was in the works to ratchet up the response, especially across the worst-affected state of Borno, to meet the immediate needs of an estimated 312,000 men, women and children.

“In addition to the 1.8 million displaced within Nigeria as a result of the conflict, the violence has led many families to flee over the border into neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger,” the UN agency said.

“To date, about 200,000 people are estimated to be Nigerian refugees or asylum seekers, living in those countries.”

The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has raised the alarm over a recent new influx of Nigerian asylum seekers and refugees in Chad.

“Since 26 December, when the town of Baga on the Nigerian side of the Lake Chad, was attacked by a non-state armed group, around 6,000 have been forced on the run,” the UN refugee agency said.

“Many of them paddled for three hours across the water to arrive in the lakeside Chadian village of Ngouboua, some 20 kilometres from the Nigerian border.”

UNHCR and the Chadian authorities are carrying out registration and pre-screening of new arrivals to evaluate their needs.

It said an overwhelming majority of the new arrivals are women and children and, according to initial information, about 55 percent of them are minors.

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