Return of IDPs to their homes will begin in 2016 – Buhari

Food for Displaced Persons IDPs

FILE PHOTO: Some internally displaced persons struggling for food

FILE PHOTO: Some Internally Displaced Persons struggling for food
FILE PHOTO: Some Internally Displaced Persons struggling for food
President Muhammadu Buhari says persons displaced by Boko Haram insurgency will earnestly begin to return to their home communities in 2016.

The President stated this when a delegation from the International Rescue Committee (IRC), led by former British Foreign Minister, Mr David Miliband, visited him in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to him, his administration will do all within its powers to facilitate the quick return and resettlement of over two million internally displaced persons to their respective towns and villages.

Buhari said Federal Government would welcome the support of the IRC and other local and international non-governmental organisations for the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons.

“In 2016, the return of the IDPs will start in earnest. They will return to their communities to meet destroyed schools and other infrastructure which have to be rebuilt.

“With agriculture moribund in the region in the last two years without cropping, hunger is already manifest.

“We will welcome all the help we can get to assist the returnees’’, he said.

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The President said there was urgent need for support in the areas of agricultural inputs, health, nutrition, water and sanitation.

He urged the IRC and other international agencies to work with the Presidential Committee on the North-East and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

He said the committee and NEMA were doing a lot to cater for the IDPs and restore some basic infrastructure in communities affected by terrorism and insurgency.

In his remarks, Miliband had requested for the nature of assistance required for the IDPs.

Miliband assured Buhari that the IRC would intensify its ongoing work in Nigeria which had assisted over 350,000 displaced persons, mainly in Adamawa and Borno.

He called for increased security presence in recovered towns and territories so as to allay the fears of prospective returnees.

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