Ms Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, Finland Ambassador to Nigeria, has said that the fight against issues of Internal Displacement in Africa depends so much on the efforts of national agencies in the affected nations
Ms Suomela-Chowdhury spoke recently at the Post-IDP Conference Advocacy Mission to Nigeria, in Abuja, organized by the Economic Community For West African States, UNHCR and the National Commission.
She noted that the issue of internally displaced people is now more critical than ever.
The Ambassador said, “To tackle a problem of this magnitude, the efforts of all relevant actors are needed. The role of national agencies is crucial. I commend the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced People, the National Emergency Management Agency, and the State Emergency Management Agency, for their efforts and commitment. Hopefully the study and its dissemination will also play their part in further encouraging the important role of civil society organisations in the promotion and protection of the rights of the IDPs.
“After the ECOWAS Ministerial Conference on Humanitarian Assistance and Internal Displacement in West Africa four years ago, ECOWAS and UNHCR decided to conduct the study that is being discussed here today. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate both organizations for this work, and the three case studies on Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Nigeria.
“I also want to thank ECOWAS, UNHCR and the National Commission for organizing this dissemination event, to discuss the findings of the study with wider local stakeholder audience. It is important to properly disseminate the results of the work done, to make the most of them. This kind of events have an important role in doing just that. My Embassy was already able to witness that first hand in the event that recently took place in Abidjan.
“We have come a long way in producing this study and disseminating its results. It has been a privilege for Finland to support this work. The results provide a wealth of valuable information and a number of very useful recommendations. The case study on Nigeria gives an overview of the situation in the country during 2011-2013. Unfortunately, as we know, the IDP situation has become worse since then. We have heard repeatedly that due to insecurity in the North East, 1.5 million Nigerians have been forced to flee their homes.”
By Patrick Aigbokhna