State Government officials praying in front of a monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan (Photo, UNDP Nigeria)

UNDP and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) facilitated a learning mission for  State Governments officials from North-East Nigeria to Japan. The three officials visited a number of sites in Tokyo and Hiroshima and engaged in experience sharing activities with the host country.

The officials visited the memorial monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima city located at the site of atomic bomb explosion during World War II.

The officials were in deep thoughts about the recovery which Hiroshima city experienced after the indescribable damage and also about the recovery which their own country seek to pursue from the military conflict which is still ongoing in the North-East region.The three State Government officials were invited to Japan for 2 weeks under a partnership activity between UNDP and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

During their two weeks mission to Japan, the officials from Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, received lectures about Japan’s experience of recovery, paid courtesy calls and monitored sites related to recovery. The lectures, meetings, and monitoring were arranged by JICA, which has long experiences of training of Government officials from various countries in Japan.

At the end of the mission, the officials expressed deep appreciation for the support and exposaure to Japan's recovery journey stating that they had learned valuable lessons from Japan’s experience despite the difference of context between the recovery of Japan and that of Nigeria. Nigeria's recovery path follows more than 10 years of insurgency my militant group Boko Haram which has led to an estimated USD8.9Bn combined cost to infratructure damage across North-East Nigeria.  

Highlights of their engagements during the mission included appreciation of the need for local ownership and leadership in the recovery process, importance of local  participation in the provision of local governance services and need to develop and implement medium-term and long-term strategies for recovery. The officials each shared their experiences from their states - this vital information will be essential input towards the formulation of appropriate recovery policies and strategies in future.  

The military conflict in North-East Nigeria has adversely affected communities, with about 1.7 million people still living as internally displaced persons (IDPs). To support stabilization and early recovery efforts, UNDP is implementing interventions in partnership with the Government of Japan and other partners like the European Union, the governments of Switzerland, Germany, Norway, among others.

UNDP’s programme in the region is prioritizing four key areas; re-establishment of livelihoods of the affected people, recovery of access to basic services, strengthening of local governance, and re-establishment of social cohesion and security. UNDP is the lead agency in providing early recovery and livelihood suport in North-East and will continue implementing interventions with support from and stronger patnership with State Governments, the Government of Japan and JICA.  

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