The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with the support from Ford Foundation collaborated with the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) in organising a two-day event to commemorate the 2015 World Humanitarian Day alongside a summit on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria.
The event had the representatives of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), IDPs, international and local humanitarian and Development partners, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and the Media drawn from across the country.
The event was organised to contribute to imperatively understanding contemporary displacement issues in Nigeria, place the issue on top national and international agenda and also serve as a platform for identification of increased partnerships and opportunities for addressing and empowering individuals and communities affected by displacement in the country.
After active deliberations and contributions the participants made observations and recommendations at the summit, jointly signed by the Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), and Federal Commissioner, NCFRMI, Abuja, Hadiza Sani Kangiwa.
Participants observed that while environmentally induced causes are also responsible for displacing people, the issue of insecurity continues to be the highest contributor to the number of Internally Displaced Persons in the country owing to activities of insurgents especially in the Northern part of the country.
To them, the rather spontaneous and ad hoc approach currently being experienced in addressing the issue of displacement has been less effective in nipping the crisis; and that displacement is a concern that requires an all-inclusive, comprehensive and apt coordination system, which appears inadequate or completely lacking at the moment.
Participants observed that mandates of agencies and institutions vested with providing intervention, relief and durable solutions in this area are crosscutting; hence the need for identification of all aspects of the issues, appreciation of the exact situation and fostering of harmonious working relations.
The forum also noted that the Technical Working Group (TWG) on the National Policy on IDPs is yet to meet since concluding work on the draft National Policy in 2012.
Participants further observed that coordination remains a major challenge hampering assistance and durable solutions to IDPs as majority of displaced persons live outside the Camps, making the need for far reaching approaches in tackling the menace not just essential but crucial.
To them, scientific approaches and the management of data have up until recently not been employed in intervention programmes which has further worsened the situation; and that in cases of environmentally induced displacements, early warning systems, adequate preventive measures and recovery mechanism appears rather inefficient as observed during past flooding experiences in the country.
Participants at the summit also observed that early warning and preparations to deal with the impending flooding should be addressed
They observed that institutions which have various roles to play in ensuring quality assurance, control and durable solutions in Camps and Host Communities be brought on board the advocacy for adoption as well as during the implementation stages of the policy.
Notable among the institutions are the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC); National Directorate of Employment (NDE); the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON); National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP); and the National Agency for Foods, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Participants at the summit recommended that the issue of security which is the paramount objective of government be taken as such with deliberate and sustained efforts at improving capacities of all institutions and state mechanisms that will in effect stamp out insurgents and other forms of insecurity currently confronting the country.
To the participants, the adoption of the draft National Policy on IDPs should be fast-tracked by the Federal Government as this would improve collaboration of stakeholders in the area of humanitarian and development intervention, and also foster inter-agency harmony and coordination which will in turn be for the betterment of the displaced.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the NCFRMI were enjoined to push one agenda for both the adoption and effective implementation of the Policy when adopted.
Participants also sought the constitution of a Multi-stakeholders Advocacy Committee to review the policy and develop/implement an advocacy agenda for its adoption; and recommended that improved coordination and linkages within and amongst all relevant partners should be fostered in order to promote durable solutions for IDPs in camps as well as those living in host communities.
They called for indigenous capacities for generating scientific methods/data as well as the efficient use of same to be grown and employed for benefits of addressing displacement across the country.
Also, all relevant institutions and agencies were called on to engage in effective sensitisation and early warning strategies that will douse the adverse effects of displacements wherever and whenever they occur.
There were 104 participants at the two-day summit, drawn from Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), CSOs, IDP camps, Development Partners, the Media and an international observer.
Participants from the MDAs included the Federal Ministries of Defence; Finance; Foreign Affairs; Health; Industry, Trade and Investment; Information; Interior; Justice; Special Duties; Water Resources (FMWR) and Women and Social Development (FMWASD); Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC); Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR); National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP); and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Others included the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); National Centre for Women Development; National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaces Persons (NCFRMI); National Defence College; National Directorate of Employment (NDE); National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS); National Human Rights Commission (NHRC); Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS); National Orientation Agency (NOA); National Population Commission (NPC), and the National Youth Council (NYC).
Branches of the State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) came from Adamawa State; Bauchi State; Borno State; Nasarawa State, and Yobe State.
Nineteen Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were at the summit. These included Awademi (Women Rally Initiative); Bamanga Tukur Foundation; Centre for Migration and Development Aid (CMDA); Civil Society Coalition on Poverty Eradication (CiSCOPE); CISLAC; Doctors Around the Earth (Medecins Aux Tours De La Terre); Echoes of Women in Africa Initiative (ECOWA); Friends in the Gap Advocacy Initiative; Grassroots Women Initiative; INGO Forum; Initiative for Comm. and Social Action; and IPAS.
Other CSOs included Executive Secretary of the Network of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa (NNHRI-WA); Peace and Development Initiative; Restore Initiative; Rhema Care; Riplington and Associates; Trust; and the West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF).
Embassies which attended the two-day event included Denmark Embassy; Swiss Embassy; the United States Consulate Lagos, and the United States Embassy.
The IDPs Camps at the summit comprised Bakasi Returnees Camp; Borno State; New Kuchi Goro, and Yobe Camp.
Development Partners at the summit included ActionAid Nigeria; Catholic Relief Services (CRS); Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); International Organisation for Migration (IOM); Oxfam; PACT Nigeria; Save The Children; UNICEF; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); UNFPA; United National High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR); United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC); United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), and the World Bank.
Around 20 local and foreign media organisations from print, radio and television were also at the summit, while the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) had an observer status at the event.
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