The government of Japan has extended a grant of $4.5 million, an equivalent of N1.4 billion, to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the provision of life-saving emergency work to assist people affected and displaced by the terrorism and counter-terrorism conflict in northeast Nigeria.
The grant will cover assistance in the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, health, nutrition and child protection services and education. It will focus primarily on assistance for children, with special attention given to populations trying to return to where they lived before they were forced to flee the violence.
A statement by UNICEF Nigeria’s media and external relations, Geoffrey Njoku, said the seven years of conflict in northeast Nigeria, especially in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, had caused massive human suffering, with children and women bearing the brunt of the difficulties.
The conflict, according to the statement, has triggered major population movements, with most recent estimates of people displaced by the conflict in the four most severely affected states at over 1.7 million, more than half of whom are children.
The UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Jean Gough, said, “The people of Japan are strong supporters of UNICEF’s work to help children and women.
“This generous grant will help to make a tangible difference in the lives of children who have suffered so much. It will help them to recover physically and psychologically so that they can be children, can go to school and have a brighter future.
“With a similar grant last year from the government and people of Japan, UNICEF and its partners were able to boost primary health care services for people affected by the conflict in more than 100 health facilities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.”
The statement added that funding from Japan provided more than 65,000 people with clean water and more than 25,000 people with access to safe sanitation.
Education was improved through creating temporary learning spaces for children in camps for the displaced; malnourished children were provided with life-saving treatment.
Special support has been given to children who have been separated from their families by the conflict, and traumatised children have been given psychosocial support, it said.
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