By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Government of Japan has released $1.5 million to fund community stabilisation activities in North-east Nigeria.
The fund donated to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is to be utilised through an ongoing programme launched in 2016.
A statement by UNDP on Tuesday said the interventions being implemented in the region are aimed at supporting victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the three most affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
The statement said the fund will build “on ongoing activities that the Government of Japan has been supporting which have facilitated the rehabilitation of 20 public infrastructures and provided emergency employment to more than 2,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and returnees.
“In addition, more than 4,000 farmers and over 1,000 small businesses were supported with inputs and capital that helped improve and expand their sources of livelihood. The Government of Japan has already invested USD 6.5 million in North-sast Nigeria stabilisation activities”.
The statement added that: “The funding from the Government of Japan will be utilised within the framework of Integrated Community Stabilisation Programme which UNDP has been implementing in the region intended to directly benefit 125,000 people in the three states. An additional one million people will indirectly benefit from interventions under the project. Implemented through an integrated approach, the project’s goal is to support over 2,200 farmers, 500 small businesses, five community public infrastructures and provide emergency employment to over 850 community members.”
“Stabilisation efforts in North-east are helping families and communities begin to rely less on humanitarian aid and more on themselves. This support from the Government of Japan will go a long way in laying a foundation for development to take place again in the region,” the statement quoted Khardiata Lo Ndiaye, acting UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria as saying.
She added that meeting urgent early recovery needs of the crisis affected communities remained a huge challenge requiring more partners and investment.
Shigeru Umetsu, Chargé d’affaires ad interim of Japan to Nigeria, was also quoted in the statement to have reassured Nigerians that the Government of Japan will continue to support Nigerians’ efforts aimed at restoring stability and livelihoods for the communities in the North-east region.