It was initiated by the United Nations Organization in the year 2000 as a call to attention on the obstacles refugees are acclimated to in foreign lands as well as applauding their strengths.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are 68.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world. Averagely, 42,500 people flee their homes daily to seek asylum within the borders of their own country or other countries.
Some of the notable reasons people flee their countries to seek asylum in another could be due to intense violation of their human rights, war, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, hunger, climate change, and political differences. Even some in search of favorable living conditions like a good job or education never envisaged to end up in asylums, but they did.
However, in Nigeria, the influx of refugees is reportedly lower than the outflow of Nigerians who opt to become refugees in other countries. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an estimated two million people run away from their homes due to Boko Haram attacks prevalent in the Northern part of Nigeria. Some settle for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp while others seek refuge in neighboring countries like Niger and Cameroon.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) estimates that over 1,000 refugees a week are crossing the border into Niger’s Diffa region. Four out of five are women and girls. According to the IRC, if the violence continues in northern Nigeria, up to 100,000 refugees could be living in Diffa by the end of the year. In Cameroon over 300 sites are used to harbor Nigerian refugees.
Daily an average of 50,000 to 70,000 refugees die all over the world. This majorly is because of the over flooded nature of the camps which makes the transmission of diseases from one person to another easy. The basic amenities provided by the Government and medical expertise is a far cry away from the population in the camps and this is why recurrently there’s usually outbreaks of several diseases like cholera, tuberculosis, diarrhea and even malnutrition in kids. How ironic that a place meant to serve as a safe haven becomes a bed of thorns?
This year, the United Nations Organization to celebrate ‘World Refugee Day’, chose the theme ‘#StepWithRefugees’. Around the world, communities, schools, businesses, faith groups and people from all walks of life are mandated to take big and small steps in solidarity with refugees.
Walking, running or cycling the distance refugees cover each year to reach safety. You can either enroll in the movement which targets one billion miles, send gifts across or start a fundraiser for refugees.
Statistics Source- UN, UNHCR, IRC, ICRC, Wikipedia and Global Giving Foundation