More than 500,000 conflict-affected people in northeast Nigeria will be thrown to the “line of life,” thanks to the UN’s new humanitarian and development package, launched on Thursday.
The Social Cohesion and Resilience Project, launched by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEFOpens in new window) and the World Food Program (WFPOpens in new window), will promote peace, increase livelihood opportunities, and provide education, health, nutrition, child protection, and sanitation support to vulnerable populations in Borno and Yobe states.
“This is the path to peace and sustainable development,” saidOpen in new window UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins.
Targeting the vulnerable
Funded for €40 million from the German Government, the three-year humanitarian package targets children from birth to the age of two, pregnant women, school-age children, adolescent girls, female-headed households and persons with disabilities. .
While leveraging on-going humanitarian support in the Bade Local Government Area (LGA) in Yobe state and Shani LGA in Borno state, key UN agencies will also provide interventions to address the drivers of conflict and fragility in various sectors.
The project will help strengthen local governance, promote community-based social cohesion and build government partnerships.
“Children and other vulnerable groups will have a lifeline, and opportunities to survive and thrive in communities where livelihoods and peace-building activities are present,” said the UNICEF Representative.
Now in its thirteenth year, armed conflict in Nigeria’s volatile northeast – where the extremist militant group Boko Haram first emerged – has flattened communities, destroyed livelihoods and disrupted essential services for children and adults.
And prolonged insecurity, high food prices and COVID-19Opens in a new window the lockdown has left more than four million people in need of food aid.
The impact of violence and the accompanying riots has triggered problems in mental health, nutrition, education and child protection.
According to UN agencies, 1.14 million children across the region are acutely malnourished, on a scale not seen since 2018.
“Conflict in any region is a potential for instability worldwide,” Hawkins said. “UNICEF thanks the German Government for supporting the pathway for child survival and peace in northeastern Nigeria.”
Reinforcing global goals
This program will also contribute to seven of Sustainable Development GoalsOpens in a new window (SDGsOpens in new window), namely poverty alleviation (SDG-1Opens in new window), not hungry (SDG-2Opens in new window), healthy and prosperous (SDG-3Opens in new window), access to quality education (SDG-4Opens in new window), gender equality (SDG-5Opens in new window), Climate action (SDG-13Opens in a new window), peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG-16Opens in a new window) and partnerships to achieve goals (SDG-17Opens in new window).
With a focus on building peace, strengthening governance, restoring infrastructure and providing life-saving services, it is expected that nearly 157,000 people will benefit directly and more than 362,000 indirectly, across both LGAs.
Grateful for Germany’s “timely and generous support”, WFP Deputy Director in Nigeria, Simone Parchment, praised the value of the project for those “facing the dangers of conflict and famine in northeastern Nigeria”.
“In these affected states, persistent conflict, climate shocks, high food prices and declining household purchasing power undermine people’s ability to feed themselves and sustain their livelihoods,” he said.
Against this backdrop, Germany’s contribution will be “very helpful in building resilience, social cohesion and peace in the affected communities”.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG).
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Nigeria: New UN resilience project opens ‘path to peace and sustainable development’
Source link Nigeria: New UN resilience project opens ‘path to peace and sustainable development’