Nigeria Has 3rd Highest ‘Internally Displaced Persons’ After Syria, Iraq – NHRC

An estimated population of over 2.2 million people fled their homes and over 7 million people faced a humanitarian crisis requiring the assistance of different nature. In 2015, the majority of the IDPs population arising from the Boko Haram insurgency constituted 79 per cent of the IDPs population in Nigeria.

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has reveled that with about one million people displaced from their homes, Nigeria has the third highest number of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the world, coming behind war-torn Syria and Iraq.

Prof Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman of the commission, stated this yesterday at a national conference organized by the United Nations Millennium Campaign, UNMC, the MDGs Office and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, OSIWA, with the theme, ‘Good Governance Beyond 2015: Setting Agenda for Inclusive and Sustainable Development in an Era of Change.’

The human rights chief said violence has become a major cause of mortality in Nigeria thanks to the fragility of the states and its institutions

He quoted the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) Global Overview of 2014 which said that “Boko Haram’s ruthless campaign to establish an independent Islamic state in North-eastern Nigeria also drove new significant displacements.”

“It was responsible for displacing more than three-quarters of at least 975,300 people in the country during the year, while many others fled inter-communal violence in the Middle Belt region,” Odinkalu said.

According to the IDMC, as at the end of 2014, 38 million people around the world had been forced to flee their homes by armed conflicts and generalised violence, and were living in displacement within the borders of their own country while 11 million people were newly displaced during the year, the equivalent of 30,000 fleeing each day.

The report said: “Never in the last 10 years of IDMC’s global reporting, from the peak of the Darfur crisis in 2004, have we reported such a high estimate for the number of people newly displaced in a year. Today, there are almost twice as many IDPs as there are refugees worldwide.”

The NHRC chairman noted that the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, and indeed the wider project of development are themselves founded on the notions of human rights, human dignity and equality generally.