Filling the Land Policy Gap in Reviewing the National Policy on Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria
Keywords:Camps, Humanitarian Assistance, Livelihood, Resettlement, Shelter
The lack of policy guidelines for IDPs resettlement in Nigeria had rendered humanitarian assistance ad hoc and disjointed, thus exacerbating the vulnerability of IDPs. This realization has necessitated the drafting of a National Policy on IDPs in 2012 which aims to coordinate all humanitarian responses for IDPs in Nigeria. However, land which forms the bedrock for IDPs resettlement was mentioned tangentially in the National Policy on IDPs. There was no focused policy guideline on how land should be provided for IDPs resettlement and humanitarian assistance in the country. The aim of this paper is to fill this gap by suggesting an integration of a coherent land policy for humanitarian assistance in the review of the document. This paper is based on the review of the National Policy, other literature and policy documents on IDPs. The review of extant literature on IDPs revealed that land is the entry point of any humanitarian assistance for IDPs. However, the review of the National Policy on IDPs revealed policy gaps in the context of housing, land and property (HLP). The National Policy has no policy guidelines for the provision of land for IDPs’ resettlement and humanitarian assistance for shelter and livelihood support. Given the weak land administration system in Nigeria due to the legal pluralism in land administration, land use for humanitarian assistance can be problematic without mainstreaming a land policy in the National Policy on IDPs. Key land policy guidelines were recommended for integration in the National Policy on IDPs.
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