Cross River State map 1

Cross River govt laments over influx of refugees from Cameroon

The Director-General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Janet Ekpenyong, has disclosed that with new arrivals of Cameroonian refugees, the state is now really overburdened with the staggering number of refugees.

She has strongly called on the federal government to come to the aid of the state as host communities of refugees can hardly handle the influx and the state government itself can not grapple with the huge burden.

Speaking during an interview with newsmen in Calabar, Ekpenyong said, “Last Sunday, there was another set of Cameroonians who fled their country into a Cross River community in Bashu as a result of reported violence and killings.

“These arrivals have increased the number of refugees in our state. We are hosting more than 50 per cent of refugees in the country. And this is really stressful to us. We are not getting commensurate support from the federal government. We are therefore making a strong appeal for support.”

Ekpenyong added that the new arrivals are being documented by relevant authorities so that they can be moved from Bashu to refugee camps.

The primary healthcare boss said upon the outbreak of the violence and their influx into the state, her agency had deplored a medical team to attend to them, test for some common diseases, including COVID-19, and have vaccinated their little children they came with.

She also confirmed that the state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has since arrived with relief items, including foods for the refugees.

“My agency is working with good support from the state ministry of Health, World Health Organisation (WHO), UNHCR and Doctors Without Borders. I must sincerely thank these bodies for prompt action and support.

“Once their registration is completed, they would be moved from Bashu community to different refugee camps in the state.”

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