United Nations migration agency, International Organisation for Migration, (IOM) has put the total number of displaced persons in North East Nigeria at about 12 million even as it said 4.4 million people are at the risk of food insecurity due to protracted and increasing insecurity in the troubled region.
Speaking at the weekend in Abuja to journalists on issues sorounding migration, security and their impact on human lives,
the IOM chief of mission in Nigeria, Frantz Celestin, noted that increased number of people are migrating due to insecurity and the impact of COVID-19, climate change and natural disasters and that the security situation in North East Nigeria, is grim leading to the large number of displaced persons.
He said: “We carry out stability index to see if those displaced can be able to return to their communities of origin while we provide them with some basic amenities like water, health care, schools and water, this is in line with our work of preparedness, response, transition and recovery.
Our records have shown that 7, 053 babies have been born in 18 of these IDP shelters in Borno state alone and this is unfortunate as many of them are born with no health facility.”
He traced internal migration to hardship, conflicts, and natural disasters, while revealing that 4.4 million people are at risk of hunger in the troubled North East region which could lead to increase number of migration if left unchecked.
Celestin, while explaining the need for people to migrate externally in a proper way, said if irregularly done, migration can lead to a lot of harship, detention, exposure to abuse and violation of basic human rights and in extreme cases, death.
The agency said it has been generating data on migration to help state and non-state actors, target intervention in the area of food and medical provisions to those displaced.
IOM also said it has the widest footprint in the North East with presence in many Local Government Areas (LGAs) and has been able to work in Bama, Monguno and Gwoza among others, to restore those displaced back to their homelands.