CISLAC, HSD, UNHCR Ends Stakeholders Meeting On National Policy On Internally Displaced Persons

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By Archibong Jeremiah

Cross section of the SOuth-South stakeholders meeting in Axari hotel Calabar
Cross section of the South-South stakeholders meeting in Axari hotel Calabar

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from the Human Security Division (HSD) of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has concluded a one day South-South Zonal consultation on the draft National Policy on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria.

Arising from the consultative forum which held at Axari hotel in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, the South-South stakeholders after giving accolades to the draft posited that the policy should  also take into consideration: advocacy, sensitization, mobilization and orientation.

The policy was also to consider making sure that no host community has the right to reject IDPs, pending government’s intervention as well as ensuring food and non food relief materials or items are shared on the ratio 80% to 20% for IDP’s”.

Further, participants held that the policy should “propose a strategy mechanism for co-existence between displaced communities and host communities. Section 5.1.1. (C) is good but is including other accountability such as participatory governance accountability and financial management accountability. Section 5.1.1. (D) is not adequate.

“But deployment of cost effective/value for money and conflict management cycle is not complete where it stops at conflict mitigation but other aspects should be included such as: Early warning and response; Emergency preparedness”.

Continuing, the delegates which comprised of representatives from several civil societies and internally displaced persons across the region maintained that the draft “Section 5.1.2. Strategies for Protection and Assistance of IDPs during Displacement: (B). State emergency management agencies should be in different State and should be included in order to take immediate responsibility for managing intra State displacement for at 48hours before NEMA’s intervention. (C) Establish viable mechanism and (D) Set up special protection and assistance provided for women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities and person living with HIV. (F)  Formulate effective mechanism for prompt activation. (G) Utilize other measures and should include provision of free human right, legal and medical services.

Concluding, the delegates pointed out that, “Section 5.1.3 and 5.1.4 are okay but it should be action based and result oriented. Section 5.3.1: Document should be amended to read ‘the president shall appoint focal coordinating council (body) that should comprise of a representative different  sectors including public sector (especially implementing agencies), private sector and civil society’. Section 5.3.1 On the responsibilities of the focal body, a new subsection should be created to include: (N) holding of annual policy implementation accountability forums. Section 5.3.3: Attention should also be focused on the disable and orphans/children. Identify and validate every organization involve in raising funds and relief materials for the IDPs”.

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