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Over 2m IDPs Will Return To Their Communities Next Year – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said that the over two million persons displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency will return to their towns and villages next year.

The president gave the assurance while speaking with a delegation from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) led by former British Foreign Minister, Mr. David Miliband.

A statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that the Federal Government will welcome the support of the IRC and other local and international non-governmental organizations for the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons.

Buhari said: “In 2016, the return of the IDPs will start in earnest. They will return to their communities to meet destroyed schools and other infrastructures which have to be rebuilt.

“With agriculture being moribund in the region in the last two years without cropping, hunger is already manifest. We will welcome all the help we can get to assist the returnees.”

In response to a request by Mr. Miliband for the federal government to list types of assistance required for the IDPs, the President said there was an urgent need for support in the areas of agricultural inputs, health, nutrition, water and sanitation.

President Buhari urged the IRC and other international agencies to work with the Presidential Committee on the North-East and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to cater for the IDPs and restore some basic infrastructure in communities affected by terrorism and insurgency.