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 made by UNDP yesterday 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 would 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 have helped improve and expand their sources of livelihood. The Government of Japan has already invested $6.5 million in North-eastern Nigeria stabilisation activities.”
The statement quoted acting UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, Khardiata Lo Ndiaye, as saying: “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 Northeast are helping families and communities begin to rely less on humanitarian aid and more on themselves. This support from the Japanese Government will go a long way in laying a foundation for development to take place again in the region.”
She added that meeting urgent early recovery needs of the crisis affected communities remained a huge challenge requiring more partners and investment.
Chargé d’affaires ad interim of Japan to Nigeria, Shigeru Umetsu, was also in the statement quoted to have reassured stakeholders that the Government of Japan would continue to support Nigerian people’s efforts aimed at restoring stability and livelihoods for the communities in in the North-east region.