C’River Hosts Over 36,000 Cameroonian Refugees, More Than 63 Percent Of Refugees In Nigeria – Mubanga

By Elijah Ugani – Calabar

The Head of Calabar Field Office of United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, Mr. Christopher Mubanga has stated that Cross River State host more than 36,000 Cameroonian Refugees which is more than 63 percent of the total refugees in Nigeria.

Mubanga disclosed this at a press briefing in commemoration of the 2020 World Refugees Day, at the UNHCR Field Office in Calabar the cross river state capital.

His words “Nigeria is presently hosting over 57,000 Cameroonian refugees in Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River and Taraba States. Meanwhile, Cross River State hosts over 36,000 Cameroonian refugees. This means that cross river state alone hosts more than 63 percent of refugees in Nigeria.

“Local authorities have been so exemplary in their support to refugees in their communities. World refugees day is an opportunity to appreciate the efforts the host communities and the federal government of Nigeria in welcoming and assisting Cameroonian refugees.

“In 2020, we mark the World Refugees Day against a backdrop of dramatic social change. Not only the number of people who fled their homes to find safety, but the entire world is grappling the devastation of the global pandemic.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the recent anti-racism protests have shown us how desperately we need to fight for a more inclusive and equal world: a world where no one is left behind, including those forced to flee by war and persecution. Everyone, including refugees, can contribute to society and Every Action Counts in the effort to create a more just, inclusive and equal world.

“UNHCR estimates that 70.8 million people are refugees or have been displaced by violence in their own countries, and 1 out of every 100 people in the world has fled their homes.

“Refugees are volunteering through sewing masks, creating awareness on Covid-19 prevention, SGBV/Child protection, and conducting environmental sanitation campaigns in the settlements. In the time of Covid-19, we have witnessed how everyone can make a difference and how every action count.

“In emergencies, UNHCR and its partners are on ground, helping to provide shelter, food, clean water, and domestic care – yet it is the people in local communities who give so much, sometimes over the years. This solidarity/hospitality is essential, it inspires and moves us to believe that people can thrive together.

“UNHCR is not responding to the refugee situation in Nigeria in isolation. Permit me to thank the State Emergency Management Agency, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons NCFRMI, Government Agencies, our partners that help implement interventions and the protection of refugees. Caritas, CUSO, FHI360, FJDP, Mediatrix, MSF, Rhema Care, Save the Children, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP and most of all our donors who make it possible for us to be here and to provide some assistance to refugees.

“As parts of our efforts to integrate and encourage peaceful coexistence of refugees into host communities in the state, UNHCR is currently undertaking 28 projects in all the communities hosting the refugees, ranging from education, health and WASH”

On the new influx of refugees into the state through tracks other than borders and what measures to contend with the influx.

Mubanga stated that “protection is the responsibility of government. Government is responsible for those walking into the country. UNHCR is only complementing government efforts. The state Task Force has put in place preparedness action plan in borders and entry points. UNHCR has been supporting health screening before being taken to settlements.

“We are worried that settlements are congested and we are very worried. We are working very seriously to prevent outbreak, it will be devastating if we have any outbreak. Facilities have been provided to isolate and quarantine new arrivals. We are also building an isolation center at the General Hospital Ogoja”

The Director General of the State Emergency Management Agency SEMA, Mr. Princewill Ayim, averred that this year’s world refugees day is marked in a different world.

His words “We are marking this World Refugees Day in a different world, not like last year. First and foremost, let’s remind ourselves that in every minute, 20 persons leave everything behind just to escape war, persecution and terror.

“On behalf of our amiable governor, His Excellency, Sen. Ben Ayade, we are here to stand in solidarity with over 70 million refugees and IDPs across the world who have been vulnerable, traumatized in their protracted situations.

“We are also here to raise the awareness that no one in the world should be left behind. We need a world that everyone can make a difference including the refugees and IDPs.

“In keeping the aspirations of the GRC and its comprehensive refugees response framework, we as government of cross river state will be focusing on promoting long term solutions by enhancing self reliance amongst the refugees in the state and host communities, while ensuring strong links with our local and international partners. God bless you all as we stand together as a global family”

Responding to how long the Cameroonian refugees will stay in the state, Ayim noted that Nigerians are also refugees in other countries.

Ayim hinted that “Nigerians are also refugees in other counties. We have a total of 292,510 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Broken down as follows; Cameroon – 115,652, Chad – 13892 and Niger – 162,961 as well as 2,706152 Internally Displaced Persons IDPs”

On his part the South-South Zonal Coordinator of NCFRMI, Mr. Innocent Efoghe, his commission has been in the forefront to alleviate the plight of persons of concerns and held that “On behalf of the national commissioner, we are very happy with UNHCR SEMA in cross river state. Since the inception of Covid-19, UNHCR, SEMA and other partners have been working tirelessly to prevent outbreak.

“As we speak, we still have influx of refugees. Our mandate is to grant safety to all displaced persons being profiled”


Development Consultant, Writer, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher @theluminenews.com, Public/ Motivational Speaker, Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator, Social Mobilizer of high repute.

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