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IOM launches new housing concept for IDPs in Northeast

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) is set to launch a new housing concept for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria’s Northeast.

IOM Nigeria’s Chief of Mission, Laurent De Boeck, disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday ahead of the unveiling of winners for the 2023 ‘Home After Crisis’ design competition.

He said the Northeast of Nigeria had faced escalating violence since 2015, leading to an unprecedented housing emergency.

As of 2023, an estimated 3.5 million people had lost their homes or lived in precarious conditions, he said, adding that Nigeria currently experiences an acute housing deficit, estimated at around 23 million.

“At IOM, we commit to supporting the government and the People of Nigeria to increase the current production rate of housing construction, with the private sector.

“To address this, IOM Nigeria is actively working to overcome the shelter emergency with a durable housing strategy. The objective is to move beyond merely providing housing units and embrace the concept of providing a home,” the IOM chief said.

According to him, the 2023 ‘Home After Crisis’ design competition, funded by the Nigerian Humanitarian Fund (NHF), is part of the effort to solve the housing needs of the IDPs.

He said: “It brought together 1,600 designers, architects and engineers from across 100 countries. Those architect experts have developed 250 design proposals for low-cost and innovative housing.”

While disclosing that the housing competition targeted the housing challenges linked to Nigeria’s rapidly growing population, he said that they aim to provide access to affordable housing, built to deliver climate-proof housing with local materials.

De Boeck said equipment and training would be given to Nigerians in the affected areas to produce the materials needed for the housing initiative by themselves.

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