By Asma’u Ahmad
The Government of Japan has pledged the sum of 550 thousand dollars to support humanitarian efforts in the North East.
Operation Manager for International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) in Nigeria, Mr. Samuel Matoka, announced this at a news conference in Abuja.
Newsmen report that the money is to support IFRC and the Nigeria Red Cross Society (NRCS) for humanitarian efforts in the region.
Health Reporters gathered that there are estimated 1.5 million people displaced in the area as a result of insurgency.
According to Matoka, recent assessment made by the Organisation showed that over 90 per cent of houses in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states have been destroyed.
He said: “As many as 90 per cent of houses in the three states have been destroyed along with sanitation, facilities, markets and farm lands. With relative security having returned to the region, people who fled will be returning to home very little.”
Matoka said the support would assist the Red Cross Society operations in the three states over the next 10 months.
He added that the intervention, which was targeted at 35,000 people, would focus on five areas, including shelter, health, sanitation and psychosocial support.
“While it is critical that returning families have access to shelter, health care and clean water, we cannot afford to ignore the trauma they have experienced,” he said.
Also speaking, Assistant Secretary General, Nigeria Red Cross, Mr. Umar Mairiga, said the organisation had unrestrained access to most parts of the three affected states.
Mairiga said this was possible due to the grassroots structure and network of volunteers.
“Without the support of partners like the government of Japan, we will not be able to provide lifesaving assistance to the vulnerable like we do,” he stated.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, Mr. Sadanobu Kusaoke said his country Japan strongly believes that the North East region can be made and must be made a hospitable and habitable place.