By Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri

The government of Japan has provided a grant of US$ 3.4 Million (about N750 million) for the “integrated provision of life-saving emergency interventions for vulnerable populations” in the Nigeria’s North east, the international humanitarian organization has reported.

A press statement by UNICEF stated that the grant will be utilized for interventions directed at giving aid to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in conflict affected communities in the region.

The specific areas of coverage include water sanitation and hygiene, health, nutrition, child protection and education.

Recalling that the conflict in the North east, especially in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, has caused large scale human suffering for the populations in the areas, especially children and women, UNICEF stated that the conflict has triggered major movements and the number of IDPs in the area has almost doubled in less than a year, from an estimated 647,000 in May 2014 to what International Office of Migration reports is now around 1.2 million.

According to UNICEF, children make up about 56 per cent of those who have been internally displaced, with over half of them being five years or younger.

Head of the UNICEF office in Nigeria, Samuel Momanyi, in press statement remarked on the timeliness of the grant received from Japan saying that the it would help the organization to alleviate the suffering of the inhabitants of the conflict-ridden region.

“This grant is timely and will further boost the work UNICEF is doing in the northeast. It will make a significant lifesaving contribution to alleviate the suffering of the affected populations in the northeast especially children and women,” he stated.



    Recalling the role played by the government of Japan since 2000 as a major donor to UNICEF, Momanyi said that Japan has aided interventions in child survival, prevention of infectious diseases in children and emergency interventions in Nigeria, through the UNICEF/federal government of Nigeria Programme of Cooperation.

    Speaking at the ceremony where the grant was presented, the Chargés d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Japan in Nigeria, Masaya Otsuka expressed hope that the grant would bring succour to people affected by the insurgency..

    “I earnestly hope that this grant aid will bring humanitarian assistance to the affected populations, especially children in the northeast of Nigeria,”Otsuka stated.

    “The Government of Japan will continue to cooperate with the people and Government of Nigeria and the international community to mitigate the conflict through non-military assistance, and to support Nigerian people affected by the conflict,” he assured.



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