UNHCR REFUGEE PROJECT
Provision of Protection and Assistance to Refugees and IDPs in Benue and Akwa Ibom states.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The project targets Anglophone Cameroonian refugees residing in the host communities/border communities of Kwande in Benue State. As of 31 October 2019, the total number of registered refugees in Benue State stood at 6,608 individuals. There are four components to which FJDP will be carrying out assistance and services delivery for the population of concerns under this project. These include: Protection/Education, Cash Based Interventions, Shelter and Infrastructure, and Warehouse Management.
The protection component of this project seeks to improve the protective environment for girls, boys, women and men to promote resilience and restore dignity through reduction of risk of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, comprehensive case management services in Ikogyen settlement and Host community adjacent to the settlement.
Furthermore, the project will strengthen civil registration and documentation of Cameroonian Refugees in Benue State particularly refugee children born in Nigeria, enhance access of refugees to territory and reduce the risk to unlawful detention of all refugees. Through the project, protection of refugee children with and without specific needs as well as persons with disability and with other specific needs will be improved and community empowerment that would smoothen the participation of female in the leadership or decision-making process.
This project seeks also to ensure that 3500 Cameroonian refugee children have unhindered and unfettered access to quality primary and secondary education in a safe environment in Nigeria and to ensure that no child must be denied his/her right to education because his/her ethnicity, disability, sex, or religious affiliation.
This project again seeks to improve the protective environment for 1313 households of 2917 individuals to promote resilience and restore dignity through provision of shelter kits for the construction of transitional shelters.
Finally, this project seeks to ensure that logistics and supply mechanisms are optimized to meet operational needs of UNHCR and partners providing protection and protection-related assistance to Cameroonian Refugees in Benue State of Nigeria. Through the project, storage and distribution of food items, non-food items, shelter construction materials are needed for providing assistance to refugees in Ikyogen and Ogoja will be enhanced thereby supporting effective delivery of assistance and interventions.
This project seeks to improve the protection situation of IDPs and restore the dignity of the most vulnerable among UNHCR’s people of concern in Benue State region of Nigeria, through the provision of decent living conditions, and response to the most critical basic needs of the vulnerable Internally Displaced Persons. FJDP working closely with UNHCR and in collaboration with UNDP and FAO will seek to build a protective environment for IDPs and to promote resilience and restore dignity. The project will also use community-based protection approaches to reduce the vulnerability of the affected population by the herdsmen-farmers conflict through building and enhancing strong community based protection structures so as to reduce cases of SGBV and child protection.
According to recent study carried out by the institution for peace and conflict resolution (IPCR), the conflict between the Herders and Farmers in Nigeria has been identified as the single most widely spread peace and security threat affecting 19 out of 30 states in Nigeria. The conflict has continued to register Hugh casualties and tension throughout almost all states of the Federation on re-occurring basis. Most reported in the middle belt and adjacent states particularly (Benue, Plateau, Kaduna and Nassarawa). Between Herdsmen and local Farmers, the clashes over farm land/or pasture have increasingly taken religious undertones (Muslims vs Christians) with religious leaders publicly exchanging accusations, as well as ethnic connotations (Indigenes vs settlers) and the stereotypes that have heightened tensions, a development which has further polarized communities and complicated efforts at mitigating the violence. The Conflict undermines food security, encourages the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and infringes on the indigenous rights.
Thousands of lives have been lost, properties destroyed, and communities left in disarray with Tens of thousands of Internally Displaced Person all over many parts of the middle belt and other parts of Nigeria. Some estimates indicate that the communal violence between farmers and Herders claimed more lives in 2016 alone than the Boko Haram insurgency, hinting at its magnitude nationwide.
Benue State has an estimated population of 483,692 Internally Displaced persons (SEMA 2019) who are currently seeking refuge in official and unofficial camps in different L.G.A. This figure, however, does not reflect the actual number of IDPs documented by SEMA. The main reasons being that some IDPs are living in host communities, remote and inaccessible areas.
In most communities, IDPs mostly women and children have inadequate shelter and food, and are at risk of communicable disease and SGBV as sleeping spaces are not gender segregated. These camps are overcrowded and lacks safe drinking water and poor sanitation which has compounded by open defecation. Children of school age are displaced from schools forcing their drop out while the livelihood of their care giver are destroyed further reducing household capabilities to finance basic education (BENGONET 2016). Demographic report of the state shows that the enrollment increased by 35% from 2012 – 2013 but by 2014 – 2016, drop cases rose to 60%.
In 2016, 86.7% of IDPs in adhoc camps of Logo, Buruku, Guma, Kwande and Agatu LGA live in intrusive reactions, Nightmares and flash backs, hyper surveillance and psychosomatic stress disorders. This has risen to 89% as a result if multiple displacement and stressful experiences created by armed violence. This possess a strong challenge in achieving post conflict recovery and re-integration as most of the IDPs are still living in deplorable qualities of life in communities and camps.