Reality of Internally Displaced Persons.

In 2014  a survey was carried out to gather statistical data on IDPs  and the results came back stating how 38.2 million people were internally displaced worldwide and that Nigeria accounted for 1.2 million Persons within the gathered statistics. 

Internally displaced persons are victims of either violence and conflict that arose within their geographical location which led to property destruction and loss of lives.  They are people who have survived tragedies or  lost their homes as a result of flood, erosion, land slides all natural disasters that take years to recover from leaving them at the mercy of basic survival.

Recent studies  in 2019 showed an estimated 19 million children  most under the age of four  were living in displacement camps  within their own countries due to conflict and violence some of them have been living this life for years, according to UNICEF.

Internally Displaced Persons, are usually cut off abruptly from the life they had grown accustomed to and are thrust into situation where everyone has to conform to unusual living conditions not counting the uneven security flow that doesn’t guarantee safety amongst the camp inhabitants.

People forced to flee or leave their homes – for reasons of violence – are generally subject to increased vulnerability as their lives are filled with uncertainties.  There are usually a higher rates of mortality than the general population, resulting from being at  high risk of physical attack, sexual assault and abduction, and frequent  deprivation of adequate shelter, food and health services as all resources are shared by groups within the camp. 

The overwhelming majority of internally displaced persons are women and children who are especially at risk and can barely cater for themselves. More often than refugees, the internally displaced tend to remain close to or become trapped in zones of conflict, caught in the cross-fire and at risk of being used as pawns, targets or human shields by the belligerents. These people still live in constant fear of losing their temporary home or suffering from repeat  attacks from armed bandits. They live with this anxiety and with this trauma of losing family and property all their lives.

IDPs camps are government owned, but most of their care facilities are provided by NGOs, these NGOs donate clothing items, food stuffs, bedding, sanitary towels and drinking cans, and medical services, and offer mental and moral support to most of the women and children. The camps are segmented into groups of 50-100 Persons and then water and sanitation resources are shared between them. 

The Covid-19 pandemic was quite a big blow to IDPs camps as it posed a huge threat to the millions of people living in such settings. 

The Biggest challenge was ensuring that the undetected  infected Persons don’t pass it along due to ignorance. Observing the lockdown and making sure everyone was sensitized enough to follow the set down rules was a hectic task  for the camp Coordinators during that period, even food supplies ran out and it seemed a dire situation but as always NGOs sent necessary help in form of sanitizers and masks prepackaged meals were part of the Alleviation kit. 

There are three States that government owned IDPs camp are run in Nigeria these states are 

Lagos

Abuja

Borno.

Internally Displaced Persons suffer a lot due to their loss, that is why NGOs and humanitarians play the role of relieving most of their struggles by offering Mental and monetary support. 

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