The United Nations refugee agency on Tuesday September 16 issued an urgent joint call for $34 million to aid the more than 75,000 people who have since last year fled the violence in northeast Nigeria by crossing into Chad, Cameroon and Niger. The Nigeria Refugee Response Plan was made on behalf of UN agency and 16 partners.

The funds will help UNHCR set up a protection monitoring system that would allow the agency to identify and profile protection problems, followed by an adequate response. The agency and its partners will also provide shelter assistance and domestic items to displaced people with special needs. It has appealed for an additional 5.5 million for these activities. “Aid agencies expect that the number of people fleeing to the three neighbouring countries could exceed 95,000 by the end of the year,” Babar Baloch, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told journalists in Geneva. Mr. Baloch said that more than 11,000 refugees crossed into Cameroon and Chad in August alone. On September 2, UNHCR said in the last ten days at least 9,000 people have arrived in Cameroon’s Far North Region, more than 2,000 sought refuge in Niger, and more people continue to arrive. Specifically, 5,500 refugees arrived in Kolofata, 3,000 in Kerawa and 370 in Mora, in the Mayo Sava and Logone-and-Chari divisions. The agency also said more than 2,000 Nigerians fled last week (of August) to the Lake Chad islands in Niger, fleeing attacks in Nigeria Borno State. Niger is already hosting more than 50,000 forcibly displaced from Nigeria who have arrived in the country since May 2013; 1,500 have found refuge in Chad. Inside Nigeria, some 645,000 people are displaced in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States, as a result of the violence.

© Valentine MULANGO