IOM’s work critical to Nigeria’s development – UN | Dailytrust

IOM’s work critical to Nigeria’s development – UN

The UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, has commended the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for its good work in Nigeria, saying its activities are critical to the country’s development.

Kallon stated this while making his remark at the occasion to mark IOM’s 20 years operation in Nigeria on Monday evening.

“The work IOM is doing is very critical for the development of Nigeria.

“In May this year, I toured Edo State with some members of the United Nations Country Team. One of the places we went to – was a fish farm that is run by a group of returnees supported by IOM.

“I still remember talking to one of the beneficiaries, a lady that was brought back from Libya. I asked her – ‘Is this going to help you stay, or will you go back for greener pastures?’

“She told me, ‘no, we can still make a living here. All I need is some support from you people and government.’

“IOM is the mainstay of our humanitarian response in North-East Nigeria – that is providing humanitarian assistance to over 5.5 million people.

“I look around the camps I walked through in North-East Nigeria and I see those shelters built by IOM – I call them shelters of hope for people that have been displaced as a result of insurgency.

“The story of migration governance and management in Nigeria will not be complete without talking about IOM, nor will the historic account of the humanitarian response in the North East be complete without IOM,” he said.

He noted that the IOM story would not be worth telling without the efforts of its important partners, including the Federal Government of Nigeria, “for giving IOM the space to do what it knows best; supporting member states to manage migration better and respond to humanitarian emergencies.

Kallon also commended development partners who provide the needed financial support.

While felicitating with the IOM Nigeria on its 20th anniversary, he reaffirmed the UN in Nigeria’s commitment
to continually support the government of Nigeria in tackling humanitarian and developmental issues in the country.


‘115 Camps In North-East’

Speaking at the event, Ugochi Daniels, IOM’s Deputy Director-General, Operations, said IOM is the biggest camp manager and biggest shelter provider in Northeast, Nigeria.

She said the organisation has established 115 camps in the North East which have provided shelter to 79,000 people in the region.

She also said the agency has the biggest mental health and psychological support operation in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, providing services to 744,000 people in 2021.

Daniels said: “Last year, IOM offered its medical laboratories and staff to support the establishment of the UN Severe Acute Respiratory Isolation and Treatment Facility, which has served 262 patients with zero fatality since it opened in 2020 and conducted 5,360 COVID-19 tests for UN staff, their families, and the diplomatic community.

“The same can be said for our response efforts in the Northeast.

“We operate and manage two of the enablers to the humanitarian efforts in the region, the Humanitarian hubs, which provide a safe space for all humanitarian actors in the deep field and the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) which is responsible for determining trends and patterns of mobility, the characteristics and needs of the affected populations.”


Humble beginning

The IOM’s Chief of Mission, Frantz Celestin, while delivering an address of welcome, said the agency began its operations in Nigeria with two desks in the office of UNICEF.

“We started with two desks at the UNICEF office 20 years ago. We have since expanded to be where we are today.

“This is a true testament to the strength of our colleagues and to the work that we deliver on a daily basis,” he said.

He thanked the Nigerian government and development partners for the support accorded to the IOM in the last 20 years.

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