The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms Ratidzai Ndlohvu has said Nigeria has the highest number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sub-Saharan Africa, with no fewer than 3.3 million people affected.
Ratidzai, who was represented at the press conference commemorating World Population Day in Sokoto yesterday by Dr. Hadley Ikwe, lamented that out of the 12.5 million IDPs currently in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria had an alarming figure of 3.3 million.
“A recent United Nations report warned that the number of forcibly displaced people had risen to a record number of almost 60 million at the end of 2014. Women, children and young people comprise over three quarters of the 60 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes by conflicts and disasters in most parts of Ghent world.
“Of the 12.5 million IDPs in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria has the highest number, 3.3 million persons displaced by confilct between December 2014 and June 2015. (DMC/NRC/IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reveals the number of IDPs increased sharply from 389.281 in 60,232 households in December 2014 to 1.49 million in April 2015 but declined slightly to 1.38 million in June 2015.
“92% of the IDPs are living in host communities, most of which are insecure locations, where major gaps exist in ensuring protection of and assistance of these “invisible” IDPs.
52% of IDPs are women and adolescents girls and 56% of the IDP population are children, half of them under 5 years of age,” Ikwe noted.
Earlier, National Population Commission (NPC) chairman, Chief Eze Duruiheoma, represented by Barr. Aminu Ahmed affirmed that over 80 per cent of IDPs in Nigeria were women.
“It has been reported that over 80 per cent of the population in IDP camps are women and the recent rescue operations in Sambisa forest yielded mostly women and children,” he added.