UNDP decries rise in number of IDPs in Benue, 3 other states


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has decried the consistent rise in the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

Its representative in Benue, Mr Adewole Oke, disclosed this on Thursday in Makurdi, while delivering a goodwill message during the presentation of the Benue Framework toward addressing humanitarian challenges in the state.

The state’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management organised a one-day workshop with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), IDPs and Journalists as participants.

Oke said that over the years, the number of IDPs in the four states, laregly women, the youths and other marginalised groups had increased.

He, however, promised that through a combined effort of all UN agencies, the socio economic impact of internal displacement and framework designed for a more developmental approach toward resolving internal displacement in Benue would be considered.

“Over the years, the number of IDPs in Benue, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have doubled, particularly women, the youths and marginalised groups.

“ This has affected children going to school, men who tend to feed their families and women who strive to make their home peaceful.

“We are not just going to stop at interventions without addressing the root causes; internal displacement requires long term, integrated and gender responsive development solutions.

”Through a human development approach, we have proposed to renew and created a synergy between displaced citizens and the state,”he said.

Oke also promised that his organisation would restore the human dignity toward ensuring a more safer Benue where citizens would coexist peacefully.

“Restoring your human security and dignity will be at the heart of rebuilding a prosperous and safer Benue.

”Let us work together to make this ambition a reality. No one can solve the problem alone,” he said.

Earlier, the Benue Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Mr Aondowase Kunde, said that the workshop aimed at developing a framework for strategic committee toward generating durable solutions that would address its current challenges.

Kunde noted that the workshop was also aimed at identifying the needs of the IDPs and those of communities affected by crisis in the state.

He added that the state government was doing everything possible to ensure the safe return of all IDPs to their ancestral homes.

“The ongoing situation in Benue highlights the broader humanitarian challenges within Nigeria.

“The plight of the IDPs in Benue serves as a call to action for the Federal Government and the international community to step in and provide the necessary support for these individuals to safely return to their homes in peace,” he added.

Some of the IDPs who participated in the exercise, decried the absence of basic facilities, such as basic healthcare, potable water, schools, among others, at the camps.

The IDPs, who called on the government to enhance security at the camps, also appealed to government to empower more women and the elderly ones with skills.

The Benue government had in the past nine months provided relief materials to the IDPs on monthly basis.

NAN further reports that over 1 million people were currently displaced in the state due to incessant attacks in communities.