The shortages of health care, education, water–both for drinking and household chores, and food are priority needs confronting internally displaced persons (IDPs) camped in various centers in Yola, Adamawa state. Even more severe shortages in communities when peace and security are being restored face IDPs as they begin moving home. These were some of the issues raised at a stakeholder’s meeting when community leaders and local humanitarian organizations met with U. S. Ambassador James Entwistle on Saturday, May 9 in Yola.
The group, led by American University of Nigeria (AUN) president Margee Ensign, is proposing to launch a privately-funded one billion naira insurgency intervention fund to be managed by the Adamawa Peace Initiative under the auspices of the American University of Nigeria in Yola.
Currently, more than 10,000 IDPs are scattered in various communities including government-run camps and the individual homes and houses of worship of the magnanimous people of Yola in Adamawa State.
In his brief comment, Ambassador Entwistle said the U.S. Is committed to working with Nigerians to help IDPs regain their lives from the horrors they have suffered in the hands of Boko Haram.
Giving situation reports on their experiences with IDPs within their localities, group heads and community leaders said aid efforts at IPC camps can be better organized to increase number of feeding times as well as the nutritional value of meals, and to make drinking water continuously available.
Chief of Bole village Abdul-mumini Abubakar added that IDPs need more boreholes in camps so that they can fetch water to meet their daily needs. Several religious leaders said multiple bridges must be rebuilt in the northeast part of the state to enable IDPs to safely return home.
As IDPs move home, basic services must be restored in villages and cities across northeastern Nigeria. Ensign said setting up the one billion Naira Insurgency Intervention fund can go a long way to help deal with essential needs such as water, healthcare and feeding.
The insurgency intervention fund, when operational, will solicit contributions and support from corporate organizations, private individuals, and governments.
The AUN-API is reputed for its long struggle for communal oneness in Adamawa State through inter-faith dialogues especially between Christians and Muslims. Recently, its focus has shifted to finding a solution to ameliorating the humanitarian impact of Boko Haram in the state.
Before leaving Yola, Ambassador James Entwistle and his wife, Pam Schmoll, attended the colorful 7th graduation ceremony of AUN where successful students were awarded graduate and masters degrees.