UNICEF, EU Mobilise 2,000 Borno Female IDPs to Produce Face Masks


Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the European Union have employed 2,000 female internally displaced persons (IDPs) to produce 40,000 face masks and 12,000 bars of soap in Borno State.

The production which is taking place in two UNICEF-supported vocational centres in Maiduguri is funded by the EU.

According to a statement issued by UNICEF yesterday, more than 2,000 vulnerable households will benefit from the materials as part of mitigation measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The statement quoted the Education Manager of UNICEF Borno Field Office, Dr. Nasser Kaddoura, to have said that the “vocational centres which were producing free school uniforms for vulnerable girls and boys, will provide female-headed households and out-of-school youths in Borno State with another skill set in face masks and soap production.

“These centres will revert to its original purpose at the end of the pandemic along with new COVID-19 related vocational training skills.”

Kaddoura said: “UNICEF is working to ensure that children and families are safe and can return to school once the pandemic is over. We are currently supporting radio learning programme in the state. With the funding from the EU, UNICEF is supporting the Borno State Government through the state Agency for Mass Education, with 40,000 face masks to ensure that families and children are protected from COVID-19. In addition to hand washing with soap, properly using of face masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

He added that the production would take place under strict safety guidelines, disclosing that gloves, face masks, and hand washing points with water have been provided at the centre while social distancing would be compulsory.