IOM’s First Psychosocial Counselling Master’s Degree in Nigeria Aims to Benefit Victims of Conflict



IOM’s First Psychosocial Counselling Master’s Degree in Nigeria Aims to Benefit Victims of Conflict

It is an effective exit strategy enabling government partners to move forward by investing in people capable of responding to their communities in need

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, September 18, 2021/APO Group/ —

People affected by conflict will benefit from help provided by graduates of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) first Professional Master’s Degree Programme in Psychosocial Counselling and Conflict Transformation in Nigeria.  The degree is offered in partnership with the Centre for Peace, Diplomatic and Development Studies of the University of Maiduguri and aligns with IOM’s global strategy on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS). 

“With more than 7.9 million people in need of urgent humanitarian aid in this region, mental health and psychosocial support are an essential element of humanitarian responses for populations displaced due to conflicts, climate change, famine and poverty,” said Olga Rebolledo, IOM Nigeria MHPSS Programme Manager, during the launch of the programme this week. 

“Displacement can bring several sources of stress for individuals, families and communities concerned,” she said. 

The curriculum aims to help professional humanitarian workers gain knowledge on a range of psychosocial issues in humanitarian responses to displacement, migration and conflict-affected societies in Borno State, North-East Nigeria. It was developed to localize community-based mental health and psychosocial support response, while also raising awareness and building the national capacity of humanitarian actors. 

IOM has also piloted similar university curriculums in Lebanon with the Lebanese University, as well as summer schools and specialized courses in psychosocial interventions. The initiatives feed into the Organization’s strategy to build capacities at state level and improve the quality of MHPSS services in every country. 

“The partnership with the University of Maiduguri evolved through IOM’s emergency response, supporting the populations affected by more than a decade of prolonged conflict,” said Vedharaniyam Karuppiah, Head of the IOM Nigeria Sub-office in Maiduguri. “It is an effective exit strategy enabling government partners to move forward by investing in people capable of responding to their communities in need.”  

Already 30 students have enrolled in the programme and will start classes immediately. More students will be admitted next year. 

“One of the programme’s main objectives is to identify and conceptualize the threats to personal and social wellbeing created by displacement, migration and conflict,” said Professor Abubakar Mua’zu, Director of the Centre for Peace, Diplomatic and Development Studies.  

The curriculum was validated in 2019 by key government and humanitarian partners working in the field of MHPSS, as well as academics from within the University. An e-learning feature has been included to facilitate the roll-out in response to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.  

The design, conceptualization and launch of the Master’s degree programme has received funding from the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)-USAID and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). 

Short Link:


NNN: :is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor @

Recent Posts

Climate change: Are wealthy polluters leaving vulnerable Africa behind? NDIC urges collaborations in cyber crime fight COVID-19: Banks still stable, resilient, says CBN Lagos acquires 750 hectares farmland for feedlots First Bank denies Otedola’s acquisition CBN supports healthcare sector with N200 billion to tackle medical tourism Niger confirms 11 security personnel killed in attack Court acquits ex-SEC boss, Munir Gwarzo, says ICPC failed to prove case against him Biden and Macron discuss ‘stronger’ European defense Swedish teen rapper killed in Stockholm shooting Kenya, Uganda launch synchronized mass delivery of drugs targeting trachoma Mali: alleged “disappearances”, executions by security forces 2023: Aregbesola in support of inmates’ right to vote – Aide Abuja-Kaduna train service resumes Saturday – FG NLC planning to open online TV for Nigerian workers – Wabba Declaration on the resumption of humanitarian activities in Burkina Faso Underdevelopment fuelling insurgency in North-East – Buratai US Ambassador Geeta Pasi and USAID Humanitarian Aid Office Administrator Assistant Sarah Charles visit Bahir Dar Over 80 million people affected as Africa launches new polio vaccine We’re still paying liquidation dividends to depositors of failed banks- NDIC Nigerian govt creates 74,413 employments through environmental projects African Development Bank launches consultations on new strategy for quality health infrastructure in Africa Nigerian fighter jets bombard ISWAP terrorists converging for meeting in 11 boats Global Director of TotalEnergies to speak at Libya Energy & Economic Summit 2021 France and WFP respond to the food and nutrition emergency in West and Central Africa Nigerian troops engage gunmen in shootout, rescue 6 abductees in Ekiti $ 30 million urgently needed to address worsening humanitarian situation in South Sudan as heavier rains and more flooding is expected in the coming months FCTA arrests 217 street beggars We’re closing all IDP camps in Maiduguri December – Zulum Lagos NYSC tasks outgoing corps members on utilisation of skills acquired 26 years after, Buhari mulls pardoning Ken Saro-Wiwa, 8 other Ogoni activists Beware of new virus that steals banking information, NCC alerts Nigerians Why Education is the only Weapon to Tackle Insecurity, Restiveness – Sen. Adeola Issuance Of E-Third Party Motor Insurance Certificate Begins Soon In Ogun Residents laud suspension of Abuja-Kaduna train service Chinese President XI writes Buhari, seeks to bolster relations Court jails man for stealing water tank New Permanent Representative of Benin presents his credentials to the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva Excessive use of antibiotic causes odour at private part – Gyneacologist IOM Resumes Voluntary Humanitarian Return Flights From Libya After Months Of Suspension Judge orders ‘Yahoo Boy’ to sweep court premises for 6 months Nigeria’s insecurity is going down – Ndume Babies conceived by women above 35 years risk Down syndrome – Therapist AMISOM trains police and HirShabelle officials in electoral security coordination Buhari tasks Ogoni leaders on protection of national assets Matawalle commissions 300-bed general hospital in Zamfara UK contributes £ 3million to help Malagasy families weather drought and food crisis World Energy Day 2021: Mauritius aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 Africa Cup of Nations 2023: Founder and President of APO Group meets with President of COCAN to discuss media coverage of CAN 2023 Nigerian govt reveals graphic detail of Nnamdi Kanu’s acts of terrorism