The International Committee of the Red Cross has donated equipment to kickstart the launch of a database for missing persons in Nigeria.
The Nigerian government began work on the database last year, run the National Technical Committee (NTC) chaired Maryam Uwais, special adviser to the President on social investment.
Equipping the NTC brings a functional database a step closer, said Eloi Fillion, head of ICRC’s delegation in Nigeria.
ICRC presented to the committee a package of information technology equipment, including computers, printers, scanners, copying machines, and UPS units.
The equipment is to support NTC’s launch of a pilot project to establish a register for missing persons, clarify their whereabouts and address the needs of families in Benue, Rivers and Borno states.
Missing but not forgotten
ICRC runs its own programme to find missing persons and reunite families separated due to conflicts or wars, natural or manmade disasters, and migration.
At least 10,000 people are classified as missing on record, though the actual number is far more.
Falmata Ahmaduram is among hundreds reunited. She was reunified with her grandson after years of separation due to Boko Haram conflict in the north east.
“Establishing a missing person’s mechanism that addresses the needs of the Missing persons and their relatives is a herculean task that calls for significant resources and expertise,” said Fillion.
Fillion added greater efforts, recognition and support are needed for the pilot project to become effective as a mechanism to address the humanitarian issues of the missing.
“To be successful, the NTC requires sufficient funding, independence and cooperation from all strata of the society,” said Fillion.
“In this regard, we encourage the authorities to back their initiative, the NTC, with sufficient political will and financial support so that it can fulfil its mission. The task ahead is not a small one, and calls for commitment the authorities and all other relevant stakeholders.”
Source: Daily Trust