Covid-19 has reinforced the reality that crises disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable amongst us. Nigeria’s internally displaced and refugee populations are at high risk of infection from Covid-19 and amongst them, women and girls are at highest risk.
On 19 August 2020, on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) will convene an e Conference on “Building the Resilience of Internally Displaced and Refugee Women and Girls in the Covid-19 Era”.
The forum aims to develop a roadmap to integrate the needs of displaced and refugee women and girls into state and local level emergency action and coordination measures.
Together with national and international partners, and in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the NCFRMI will examine how best to ensure the prevention of harm to displaced and refugee women and girls, how to protect them from infection by Covid-19 and other communicable diseases, how to ensure adequate care and rehabilitation for those infected and will address contextual factors – poverty, deprivation, insecurity and gender-based violence – which exacerbate the risks to women and girls.
The e Conference will review the impacts of the pandemic identified so far and examine protection measures for displaced and refugee women and girls undertaken since the start of the epidemic, by both Government and its partners. Furthermore; participants will explore further strategies and solutions that can be implemented to intensify and improve Covid-19 prevention and management in Nigeria, in order to prioritise the health, safety and livelihoods of displaced and refugee women and girls.
Objectives of the e Conference
Develop a road map to:
- Reduce the emergency health-related burden for displaced and refugee women and girls living in formal and informal camps, as well as in host communities.
- Increase support for the sexual and reproductive health rights of displaced and refugee women and girls and ensure the means for their protection and resilience against all forms of violence and exploitation.
- Address the contextual factors of poverty, discrimination, or lack of access to basic services, that exacerbate the risks faced by displaced and refugee women and girls, as well as examine measures to reinforce their economic roles and livelihoods.
- Strengthen the capacity of front-line workers in IDP camps and host communities, whether they are health system workers, community health volunteers or social mobilisers, in early detection, referral and safe personal health and hygiene practices in the management of Covid-19 and other communicable diseases.
As of August 4, Nigeria had recorded 44,433 Covid-19 cases and 910 deaths. According to WHO, these figures may well be under-reported. In this era of health emergencies, of particular concern to humanitarian actors and to the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) alike is the protection of children, women, and elderly people, who constitute the most vulnerable populations among those whom have been displaced and who are living in camps or host communities.
The problem of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) transcends the local nation state. In 2019, there were 50.8 million internally displaced persons worldwide, more than half of whom are women and girls. 45.7 million people were displaced as a result of conflict and violence and 5.1 million were due to natural disasters.
In the Nigerian context, over 2 million IDPs displaced by the pre-existing humanitarian crisis in the North Eastern (terrorism) and north-central states (farmer-herder and communal clashes) and the unraveling humanitarian crisis in the north-western states caused by armed banditry, make the country highly vulnerable to the spread of Covid-19. This is further compounded by conflict and disasters beyond Nigeria’s borders, which have added 60,000 refugees from Cameroon, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Central African Republic to the growing challenge of addressing the issue of displacement.
Conduct of the e-Conference
The e Conference will be comprised of short presentations by five panelists, followed by an open moderated discussion.
Duration: 90 minutes
Moderators: Ms. Fatima Mamman Daura – Deputy Director, NCFRMI and Dr. Nigel Fisher – former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.
- Roger Hollo – Deputy Representative of Nigeria (UNHCR)
- Ms Sylvia Opinia – GBV Coordinator, Nigeria. (UNFPA)
- Moradeke Badru – Project Coordinator West Africa (PSI)
- Charles Anaelo – Deputy Director Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development (FMHDS)
- Anna Agnieszka – Deputy Coordinator, Protection of Civilian Population (ICRC)