The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR continues to record an influx of refugees in neighboring Nigeria as the Ambazonia conflict deepens. According to a flash report released by the Refugee Agency earlier this month and examined by BaretaNews, some 21, 291 Southern Cameroonians are registered in Nigeria as of May 31.
Between May 22 and June 1 of this year, about 524 refugees have crossed the border into the Kwande Local Government Area, Benue State. The UN refugee agency plans to relocate the more than 21,000 away from the border localities to certain locations deemed safer.
An observatory delegation from the U.S visited the Calabar UNHCR office with the hopes of gathering facts on the ground concerning the refugee situation. Their mission is to meet government officials, civil society groups, the refugees themselves, Nigeria National Commission for Refugees as well as the UNHCR delegation so as to take stock on progress being made in providing assistance and support to the refugees fleeing the conflict in Southern Cameroons.
Thus far, refugees fleeing the Northern and Southern Zone of the Republic of Ambazonia into Nigeria are mostly women and children. Many of whom rely on resources and provisions that are already drying up. Food, shelter and potable water are running out. The UN Refugee Agency is requesting nearly US$ 25 M in additional funding to provide basic supplies as the host community struggle to provide protection to the vulnerable people seeking a safe haven.
Alongside its partner Rhema-Care, food rations have been distributed to 688 refugees in Obudu Cattle Ranch, Cross River State. Some 605 of them have also received shelters in that state. Medical assistance has been granted to about 1635 refugees.
Biometric registration of 250 urban refugees has been established in Calabar by the UNHCR. The biometric registration is aimed at providing identification documents for the refugees, serving as a protection tool and easing with targeted assistance in the future.
A training workshop was organized in Benue State with the participation of 30 volunteers and 18 staff members of the Foundation for Justice Development and Peace, another UNHCR partner from the Makurdi Catholic Diocese. Their training is to instill hem with the necessary skills to administer basic first aid and psychological counseling to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst