Journalism of Courage

AfDB invests $258m to help Nigeria recover from Boko Haram insurgency

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is investing as much as $258 million in Nigeria’s northeast to help the region recover from a nine-year Islamist insurgency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has announced.
The intervention programme, Inclusive Basic Service Delivery Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Programme is a “comprehensive multisectoral intervention aimed at bolstering  rehabilitation efforts in north-eastern Nigeria,” the development bank at the programme launch in Abuja, Wednesday.
It will be recalled that Boko Haram militants have waged a wars in Africa’s biggest economy since 2009, leaving tens of thousands of people dead and forcing millions to flee.
The intervention, seeking to to reduce fragility aggravated by the Boko Haram insurgency by contributing to emergency transition, recovery and peace building efforts, AfDB said focuses on three main components – service delivery, economic recovery and institutional strengthening.
“It has been gratifying to note how enthusiastically our friends and partners have rallied to our support, mobilizing resources to tackle the crisis in the northeast. We would like to express the profound appreciation of the Federal Government to the Bank for being a partner in progress with us. When the story of the region’s recovery is told, the work of the African Development Bank will occupy a well-merited and prominent chapter,” Osibanjo said at the launch.
The intervention includes support to ensure increased access of the poor and vulnerable to basic social services in water, sanitation, hygiene, health and education, as well as livelihood opportunities, food security and strengthened safety net systems in states such as Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe and Taraba.
According to the bank, 14 million affected people including 2.3 million internal displaced persons (IDPs) are expected to benefit from health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation services.
The Programme is targeting 9,000 IDPs and heads of vulnerable households who will receive direct economic assistance, while 2,023 small and medium scale enterprises (79% women) will receive business development support, the bank said.
“It incorporates special gender considerations by ensuring that women are active participants in all stages of the project and providing training for women and youth entrepreneurs to increase their chances for employment and business opportunities,” Adesina said.
“The Bank has remained a strong partner of the Federal and State Governments in their efforts to restore livelihoods in the northeast. For instance, throughout the period of heightened conflict in the region, the Bank intervened with two critical programmes in Yobe and Taraba States. The experience gained and lessons learned from implementing these two projects are incorporated in the design of the current intervention,” he added.
About 2,900 construction artisans and mechanics in the informal sector will also get help to improve their productivity, also said, adding that the initiative envisages that 2,000 unskilled youth will be trained for employment.
In his remarks, Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative, Theophilus Danjuma noted that given the growing traffic of displaced persons back to their home communities, the provision of essential services and job creation in safe locations will play a huge role in ensuring the sustainability of the  post-crisis recovery.

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