The accolades came during a meeting between the United Nations (UN) team and the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare Dr Ini Adiakpan.
He said the team was in Akwa Ibom to appreciate the state government and the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare for the tremendous support given to the refugees even with the little resources.
He stated that they would not leave the refugees to be a burden to the state and promised to partner with the ministry in providing resources for the refugees.
Akwa Ibom was praised for opening its borders for immigrants.
Speaking at the meeting, Dr Adiakpan said the people of Akwa Ibom have had a close relationship with the Cameroonians and as such, it is only natural for them to run to us for safety.
“Akwa Ibom people are very accommodating, so the refugees are free to access our schools of which education is free and compulsory, they also have access to health facilities provided through the benevolence of the State Governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel,” she said.
Dr Adiakpan said that the refugee’s community is growing, and the refugees need to be empowered with microfinance, for trade/businesses and skills acquisition in order to be self-reliant.
She appreciated the State Governor for providing resources for the work in the ministry, pointing out that Governor Emmanuel has put in place a legal framework to protect women.
She mentioned one of the measures to include, the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) law aimed at protecting women from gender-based violence.
“His Excellency ensures that women who are raped get justice and the offenders punished by the law,” the Commissioner stressed. “His Excellency also provides shelter for orphans in the State.”
She called on the UN team to support the government with educational materials, health facilities and basic infrastructure and to also mainstream the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in their program.
The commissioner added that in line with the partnership, the Ministry of Women Affairs will draw up programs for the inclusion of the refugees.
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