VSF Partners UNIMAID on Boko Haram Damage Assessment

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Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

The Victims Support Fund (VSF) is partnering with the foremost ivory tower in the Northeast sub-region, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) to assess the level of damage in the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency and level of humanitarian needs.

The collaboration between the two parties is on disaster risk management in order to overcome and meet humanitarian needs of returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Northeast. Singing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the varsity during the week in Maiduguri, the Executive Director of the Fund, Prof. Sunday Ochoche said the Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies; was to carry out a baseline assessment of communities affected by insurgency and terrorism.

He said the affected and liberated communities were mainly located in Borno and two other states, Adamawa and Yobe, all in the North-East sub-region of the country.
He said: “The assessment seeks to determine the state of voluntary return of victims from camps and host communities to their homes, which were torched by Boko Haram insurgents in the last five years.

“Our partnership with the University on disaster risk management was to ensure VSF intervention to suit and meet various needs of the humanitarian crises. It will also provide a framework as well as information mechanism for improved programme planning and implementation.”

He also revealed that the centre would collaborate with VSF and partner with Civil Society Organisation (CSO) and State’s Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) to collate and analyse relevant data.
Ochoche said that the disaster risk management centre would also evaluate feedback collated from insurgency affected communities in the northeast.

He said the assessment by the centre could deepen the understanding of issues and elements of return to rebuild IDPs’ means of livelihoods and their lives.

Responding, the Vice Chancellor of UNIMAID, Prof. Ibrahim Njodi said the disaster and risk management centre, will accelerate scientific approach to overcoming the challenges of rehabilitating and resettling all returning IDPs in Borno and northeast sub-region.

He said the varsity was the best place to lead the documentation and research study, as the centre will not only benefit VSF, but other international humanitarian agencies and institutions.

“The centre will respond to the dynamics of overcoming the challenges of post insurgency rehabilitation and resettlement programmes for returning displaced persons,” Njodi said.