The U.S. Agency for International Development, United Nations Population Fund, UNICEF and WHO have signed a $10.5 million grant agreement to assist Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria’s North East.
Ratidzal Ndhlovu, who spoke on behalf of the agencies at an event in Abuja on Thursday, said they were delighted to sign such an agreement, tagged Integrated Humanitarian Assistance for Northeast Nigeria.
According to her, insurgency remains the biggest security challenge in Nigeria which has affected 24.5 million people.
“Since the insurgency started we have witnessed an upsurge against civilians, schools, religious houses as well as mass abduction of women and children,” she said.
Mrs. Ratidzal, who decried the deplorable condition of insurgency survivors, said there was urgent need for their health and psychosocial support for them.
She said the partners would do their best to ensure that Adamawa, Borno and Yobe had access to basic primary health facilities.
Mrs. Ratidzal said areas of intervention included reproductive health, communicable and non-communicable disease and nutrition.
She said other areas were immunisation, water, sanitation, psychosocial support and prevention of gender-based violence.
The U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, said the grant is meant to improve access to health care services for affected populations in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
He said the funding will support nutritional supplements for malnourished children, health care services to those living in camps with host communities.
“As we look forward to Nigeria’s success, the U.S. remains committed to extending our partnership to support the Nigerian people’s vision to accelerate this country’s economic and social development,” he said.
He said in Yola food supplies were uncertain, children were out of school and basic health care services were largely unavailable.
He disclosed that the US government has been working very closely with Nigeria to address each of the needs through a network of international and Nigerian NGOs.
He praised the residents of Adamawa and Yola for supporting IDPs in areas of housing, feeding and healthcare services. He said Nigerians are taking care of fellow Nigerians in need.
“We are not here for Nigerians but we are here with Nigerians to ensure that Nigeria becomes a better place,” he said.
He said the U.S. was proud to support Nigeria in its fight against insurgency and terrorism.
“The Unites State welcomes President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to taking necessary action to end insurgency,” he said.
Governors Mohammed Jubrilla of Adamawa, Kashim Shetima of Borno and Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe witnessed the event.