1,000 IDPs In Gombe Benefit From Japan-UNESCO Interventions, Peace Building Efforts | Independent Newspaper Nigeria

2024-04-06 20:49:29

Independent Newspapers Nigeria

GOMBE - No fewer than 1,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and vulnerable families residing in Gombe State have been supported by the JAPAN-UNESCO Project with lively hood to alleviate their suffering.

This is in response to the United Nations humanitarian crises in North East Nigeria and supported by authorities in Gombe State which delivered on social and economic development in the last 12 months.

According to Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo, Head of UNESCO Office and UNESCO Representative in Nigeria, the intervention particularly targeted young women and girls, with experiential leaming for peacebuilding, psychosocial support for long-term recovery, and opportunities for socio-economic empowerment.

He stated during the presentation of End-line Report and Closing Event for the Japan-UNESCO project on Strengthening Peacebuilding and Resilience in Northeast Nigeria through Education, Economic Empowerment, and Social Change that the beneficiaries affirmed that the counselling sessions were useful in processing trauma, embracing forgiveness, and integrating in their new communities.

He explained that the project was built on the first project implemented in 2021-2022 for the empowerment of women and girls in marginalized communities in three selected states in Nigeria, of which Gombe state was among.

One of the key recommendations of that project was the call for economic empowerment of marginalised and vulnerable groups through the provision of vocational skills.

"Our work here in the past 12 months has been a logical follow-up of the previous project as over 100 IDPs and vulnerable persons in host communities have acquired vocational skills in their chosen vocations for Improved livelihoods and self-reliance.

"On the part of UNESCO, sustainability was taken into account in the project design. There were deliberate efforts to work with existing structures and to strengthen systems for continuity," Abdourahamane Diallo stated.

He noted that insecurity has been a major development concern in North East Nigeria and more recently in other parts of the country stressing that armed violence has decimated the lives and livelihoods of civilians, with massive displacements fundamentally altering life in the region.

"The critical challenges that affected people include a lack of livelihood opportunities, food insecurity, and stress. These factors have increased tension across IDP camps and host communities, forcing affected and vulnerable populations to adopt negative coping mechanisms," he pointed out.

He opined that one of the key three priorities for Nigeria is the promotion of peace and stability including reconstruction assistance in the North-East region, including to support humanitarian assistance for IDP's and refugees; and support the reconstruction assistance for social stabilization in sectors such as education and vocational training among others.

He appealed to the authorities in Gombe State to make annual budgetary provisions for the responsible agencies to embark on similar activities to support the IDPs and the vulnerable groups, assuring that they would deliver on their mandates because their capacities have been strengthened through this project.

The project was also executed with collaboration from the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the Adult and Non-formal Education Agency (ANFEA) and the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, who was represented by his Deputy, Manasseh Daniel Jatau (Phd), congratulated the 1000 beneficiaries of the project.

He called on them to make good use of the lessons and vocational skills learned within the shortest period of their engagement, so that they can be catalyst of change within and outside the shores of the state.

To the funders of the project, he said, "As the state was doing its best to improve the standard of living of the residents, the United Nations and donor partners did not leave Gombe alone. Specifically, our great partners in the Education sector.

"The Japan- UNESCO Team which has been with the state since 2020 have been the State's reliable and dependable partners in our struggle to improve the socio-economic standing of the population," he commended.

2024-04-06 News