The UNFPA Country Representative in Nigeria, Ratidzai Ndhlovu, says that no fewer than 4.2 million Nigerians have benefitted from the fund’s humanitarian and psychosocial support services.
Ms. Ndhlovu disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria during a one-day visit to the most populated Dalori IDPs camp in Maiduguri, Borno. She said the intervention services began in January 2015 to date. This notwithstanding, the envoy renewed the UN resolve to increase the humanitarian and psychosocial support services to victims of insurgency in the North East.
She reiterated the UN commitment after assessing the distress condition of the IDPs in the camp, saying that the UN was deeply concerned with their plight. The envoy noted that the insurgency had caused a lot of destruction to unquantifiable human lives and property in the region, thus posing enormous humanitarian challenges. Ms. Ndhlovu said the victims suffered huge psychological trauma as they were attacked, sexually abused and lost their loved ones and property.
According to her, the region had recorded massive destruction of socio-economic activities, including healthcare services, education, trade and institutions. “The UNFPA, therefore, is providing humanitarian and psychosocial support interventions in the areas of reproduction health, counselling for groups and communities and promoting gender equalities.
“We are also providing safe clean and dignity kits for expectant and lactating mothers.
“Over three million people have benefitted from various UNFPA interventions programmes in the North East and Benue,” she said.
However, Ndhlovu said that the success of the interventions was predicated upon the effective synergy between the fund and the host government and various NGOs.
She added that the UNFPA’s collaboration with NEMA and affected states emergency management agencies (SEMAs) was fast tracking the implementation of the intervention programmes.
The UN representative also acknowledged the support the UNFPA was receiving from USAID, JICA, PCFRH and CERF in terms of funding and technical assistance.
She expressed the UN’s desire to see the victims, most especially women and girls, overcome their challenges and resume normal life.
Ms. Ndhlovu advised the IDPs to share their problems with the counsellors and consider their current predicament as a temporary setback. While expressing happiness over what she observed at the “Safe space” and clinic, the envoy commended the beneficiaries and counsellors for their orderly conduct and commitment to duty. She distributed dignity kits to mothers who delivered at the clinic to improve their health and those of the babies.
The Coordinator of the Safe Space and an IDP, Gambo Abdulaziz, as well as a Counsellor at the camp, Yagana Grema, had earlier conducted the UN representative and her team round the facilities.
They told the team that the one-on-one and group beneficiaries were responding positively to the psychosocial support services being offered them and solicited for sustenance.
At the camp clinic, Hyledi Yakubu, a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician, told the team that normal medical and health services were being provided to the victims.
The doctor appealed for more support and sustainability of the interventions.