Emergency Agency raises alarm over Influx of economic IDPs in Camps

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By; Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna.
As the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps continue to grow across the country as a result of different nature of hazards growing from insurgency, floods and more, a new dimension of IDPs has been ‎discovered known as Economic IDPs.
This ‎is one of the revelation made at the just concluded Emergency and Preparedness Response workshop on Flood, organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for emergency stakeholders in 12 states in the Northern part of Nigeria plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and media practitioners.
The influx of this kind of IDPs has become a source of worries for emergency agencies in the country, and therefore calls for urgent need for proper check and assessment of the real IDPs who are suffering from the effect of hazards.
Director General, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Emergency Management Agency (FAMA), Abbas Idris, who disclosed this in Kaduna on Thursday, said this new type of IDPs are across all IDPs settlements in Abuja.
Economic IDPs, Abbas said, are those without viable means of livelihood who try to take advantage of any opportunity where the real IDPs are camped in order for them to get some means of survival.
He explained that, the Economic IDPs most times are the ones who perpetrates wrong conducts and crimes in the camps, this he said has made it very difficult for Emergency agencies to identify the real IDPs.
“With the nature of Abuja, a lot of people are there to earn their livelihood, but you find out they don’t have anything to do and no resident to stay. So when the insurgency victim’s large population moved to Abuja, they saw it as an opportunity.
‎”This people found out that the best way to earn their living, eat food freely, is to see themselves as those who are in the camps, because noodles, rice, other foods are always provided so they now decided to joined the IDPs.
“We were able to discover them because when you go there at night you will not see them, but once is morning they are back to the camp. Most of them even come with vehicles, when you give them bag of rice you see them carrying it with vehicles, sometimes they even take the food to nearby markets to sell.”
Meanwhile, at the end of the emergency response meeting, all the states that participated were able to draw out their action plans in anticipation of ‎an impending disaster.

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