UNDP and Japan supports IDPs in North East of Nigeria

Jan 6, 2017

The Secretariat Office of Mafa LGA under reconstruction providing locals with emergency employment

With funding from the Government of Japan, UNDP and its implementing partners continues to provide support to people affected by the ongoing military insurgency in North East region of Nigeria. This support is being channeled through two projects; one focusing on Livelihood and Social Cohesion, while the other on De-radicalization, Counter-Terrorism and Migration.

Mafa, a now liberated Local Government Areas (LGA), remains largely deserted as residents have fled to the more secure Maiduguri City, 45Kms away. The insurgency resulted in major infrastructure, including the building of the area’s Secretariat Office, being destroyed and most public places unsafe for conducting businesses. Although military operations by the Nigerian Army led to the recapturing of Mafa and nearby towns from Boko Haram early 2015, sporadic attacks by the militant group still continue leaving thousands displaced in or outside the LGA. Schools are now being used as temporary Internally Displacement (IDP) Camps.

The Borno State State Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (MRRR), with our support, was able to distribute agricultural input, including seeds and fertilizer, as well as equipment to farmers. This support will be key in helping them restart their businesses and restore their livelihoods. Our support was also led to the rehabilitation of Secretariat’s building, creating short-term employment opportunities for the locals. The MRRR is implementing partner for the Livelihood and Social Cohesion Project.

For example, Hassan (not real name), an unskilled laborer at the rehabilitation site, who lost most of his relatives and friends during the conflict sees the short-term employment opportunity as one that will help him re-establish his life. He is preparing to resume farming from the next rainy season.

With relative peace restored in the area, many are slowly returning to Mafa from Maiduguri with the hope of receiving support that will help them restarting their lives. Abdul (not real name) who recently returned to Mafa, after been displaced to Maiduguri for three years is still living in an IDP Camp. Following support from the project which provided him with a sewing machine, he is re-starting his trade as a tailor. Many like Hassan and Abdul, who are benefiting from this kind of support, will soon bounce back to normal life and be able to contribute to the development of their communities.

During a visit to the area, Dr. Babagana Umara Zulum, Commissioner of MRRR acknowledged support from UNDP and the Government of Japan, stressing that the project remained important as they were over 2 million IDPs in the North East who needed urgent help especially that more areas are being liberated from Boko Haram.

The Government of Japan is also funding the De-radicalization, Counter-Terrorism and Migration project which has so far facilitated capacity building of over 400 personnel in Security Agencies.

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Lucky Musonda

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