Boko Haram has done its worst and the rippling effect includes hundreds of thousands of homeless women and children risking starvation.

At the moment, thousands of them who sought refuge in neighbouring Cameroon but were rejected by their host have returned back to Nigeria, with home or hope.

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Now, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is seeking an additional 9.5 million dollars, about 28.9 billion naira to scale up its activities in the northeast region for these refugee returnees.

UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Mr Volker Türk, said the need for the fund was as a result of an unexpected surge in self-organised returns of Nigerian refugees mainly from Cameroon since the beginning of the year.

“This is a new emergency, which requires urgent attention,” Türk, said in a press statement, noting that between January and June, nearly 135,000 refugees returned to Nigeria, mainly women and children.

According to him, the majority left Minawao and Kolofata refugee settlements, in the Far North Region of Cameroon.

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“Many of these returnees are unable to go back to their homes due to security concerns and end up being displaced again, in dire humanitarian conditions,” Türk added.

The UNHCR said the situation was particularly difficult in the town of Banki, where many are forced to live outdoors and have limited access to drinking water, food and medicine.