In its bid to support the thousands of internally displaced persons in Nigeria’s north-east, Japan has extended a grant of $4.5 million (N1.4 billion) to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide life-saving emergency assistance to people affected by the many years of insurgency in the region.
Details of the funding was contained in a statement signed by Mr John Chukwuma Nwankwo, the senior assistant/advisor on General Affairs, Information & Culture of the Japanese Embassy in Abuja, on Thursday.
The statement said: “The grant will cover assistance in the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities; health, nutrition and child protection services and education.
“It will focus primarily on assistance for children, with special attention given to populations trying to return to where they lived before they were forced to flee the violence.
“The seven years of conflict in northeast Nigeria, especially in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, have caused massive human suffering, with children and women bearing the brunt of the difficulties”, it stated.
The statement also quotes, Ms Jean Gough, UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria as saying that “the people of Japan are strong supporters of UNICEF’s work to help children and women”.
According to Ms Gough, the generous grant from Japan will help to make a tangible difference in the lives of children who have suffered deprivation due to Boko Haram attacks on their communities.
“It will help them to recover physically and psychologically so that they can be children, can go to school and have a brighter future,” She said.
Japanese ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke assured of his government’s commitment to promote the rights of children in Nigeria. The ambassador said that Japan believes that primary education, health and nutrition are some of the basic rights of every child anywhere in the world.
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