ECOWAS holds Working Session to Develop a Contingency Plan for the Management of Displaced Persons in the Region

 The ECOWAS Commission in collaboration with the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) is holding a working session in Abuja, Nigeria from June 5th – 9th, 2023 to develop a contingency plan for the management of displaced persons within the Region.
The ECOWAS region has been recently plagued by population movements and displacements with a detrimental impact on security, social, environmental, and health aspects. To enhance national capacities and aid the displaced populations, the West African Health Organisation under the auspices of the Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission and through the Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (RCSDC), the Department of Agriculture and Economic Affairs and the Department of Human Development and Social Affairs initiated the development of an ECOWAS joint contingency plan to provide sustainable solutions. In this regard, a Regional Technical Working Group was set up.
The Opening Ceremony was attended by Madam Massandjé Touré-Litse, Commissioner, Economic Affairs and Agriculture and Prof. Fatou Sarr, Commissioner, Human Development and Social Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission.
H.E. Madam Damtien L. Tchintchibidja, the Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission in her opening remarks emphasised our collective responsibility as a Region to respond to various alerts by reflecting on the different aspects of these issues and come up with appropriate solutions. “It will take concerted and consistent efforts to address issues such as irregular migration, terrorist attacks, trans-border crimes, farmer-herder conflicts, human trafficking and political violence” the Vice-President added.
In his statement, Dr.  Melchior Athanase Aïssi, the Director General of WAHO highlighted the importance of developing a contingency plan to strengthen the capacities of national health systems and to enhance ECOWAS’s support to Member States.
The 5-day working session will enable participants to understand the background and situation of returning migrants, displaced persons, and asylum seekers in the Region, discuss support plans and how to strengthen the national health systems in relation to migrants and refugees’ health.

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