The United Nations High Commission for Refugees or UNHCR has lamented the alarming rate at which the number of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons or IDPs continue to grow daily on every Continent.
The Liberian Embassy near Abuja is quoted as saying the UN Refugee Agency’s concern was contained in a special statement by the Agency’s High Commissioner, Antonio Guterres, read by his Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Madam Angele Dikongue-Atangana during an event held to commemorate this year’s World Refugee Day in Nigeria.
In Abuja on Monday, June 22, the well attended program was formally commemorated at the UNHCR Nigeria office, in collaboration with the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs (NCFRMI).
The number of refugees was growing and accelerating every single day on every continent, while in 2014, an average of 42,500 people became refugees, asylum-seekers or internally displaced persons every single day – that is, four times more than just 4 years ago. These people rely on the UNHCR for their survival and hope, remembering what the organization does.
Mr. Guterres noted that nearly 20 million of them being refugees, and children more than half and that almost 60 million people have been displaced by conflict and persecution, while more people fled last year than at any other time in the records of the UN Refugee Agency.
Madam Dikongue-Atangana, who lamented Nigeria’s over 1.5 million IDPs, disclosed that there were about 2,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in Nigeria, however, noting that although such number constituted a small proportion, given Nigeria’s 170 million population, the 1.5 million IDP’s were all potential refugees if the world took no collective action in seeking their welfares which could further push them into other countries to become refugees.
The Federal Commissioner of NCFRMI, Madam Hajiya Hadiza Sani Kangiwa, also speaking, expressed the Nigerian Government’s commitment to protecting all refugees and IDPs, emphasizing that the Nigerian Government was doubling its efforts to cater to the needs of refugees and IDPs, particularly in northeastern Nigeria, hit by an insurgency.
World Refugee Day is commemorated on June 20 each year to raise awareness about the situation of refugees and displaced persons throughout the world since 2001 globally. Press Release