The Federal Government has joined the United Nations and other world leaders to commit to tangible pledges ranging from financial and material contributions, technical and policy support as well as working together in solidarity to find lasting solutions for the millions of refugees around the world forced to flee from their original places of abode.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu gave the commitment when she joined the UN agencies, humanitarian and development organizations, NGOs, refugee-led organizations and faith-based groups at the Global Refugee Forum in Palexpo Geneva, Switzerland to brainstorm on global migration, refugee problems and durable solutions.
A statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Publicity Mr. Rasheed Olanrewaju says the Minister is presenting Nigeria’s position at the gathering, explained that Nigeria has a deep understanding of the daunting challenges of refugees and called for synergy with international communities to address the root causes of irregular migration.
“As a nation, we have opened our hearts and borders, offering international protection to those in dire need.
“Consequently, the Federal Government has made pledges: To include refugees, IDPs, returnees and their host communities in National development plans, to strengthen its protection capacity, to ensure the availability and access to durable solutions for refugees and IDPs and to continue playing active and constructive roles in regional and sub-regional efforts to address the root causes of displacement.
“Nigeria is presently hosting and providing international protection for about 100,000 refugees in addition to over 8,500,000 IDPs”, Dr Edu said.
According to the Minister, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to fulfil the pledges resulted in the development and adoption of a roadmap for the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees, which was first adopted by the Federal Executive Council.
The Minister affirmed Nigeria’s determination to facilitate the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees based on the following five National pledges:to enhance self-reliance with 25% of working-age refugees participating in economic development programs, to complete inclusion in the National Social Registry for poor and vulnerable refugees, aiming for at least 5% benefiting from social protection she added.
In his opening address, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi referenced the global divisiveness and unprecedented number of conflicts causing displacement.
He called upon Nations to ensure that all refugees, regardless of where they come from, receive attention and support.
“And to make this Global Refugee Forum a moment of unity, in which all of us join forces to ensure that those who flee because their life, freedom and security are threatened can find protection; and that everything is done to resolve their exile as soon as possible.”
Held every four years, the Forum is the world’s largest international gathering on refugees. It is designed to support the practical implementation of the objectives set out in the Global Compact on Refugees.
This includes easing pressures on host countries, enhancing refugee self-reliance, increasing access to third-country solutions, and improving conditions in countries of origin.
The statement adds that the forum provides the opportunity for stakeholders to announce concrete pledges and contributions, highlight progress made, share good practices, and take stock of the challenges and opportunities ahead.
The 2023 Forum was co-convened by five states – Colombia, France, Japan, Jordan, and Uganda – and co-hosted by the Government of Switzerland and UNHCR.