The U.S. Agency for international Development (USAID) awarded a $10.5 million grant in humanitarian assistance for internally displaced populations (IDPs) in northeastern Nigeria. The grant will support the activities of the United Nation’s Population Fund (UNFPA), UNICEF, and the World Health Organization (WHO) to improve access to health care services for affected populations in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states.
Speaking at the grant signing ceremony, U.S. Ambassador James Entwistle said, “The funding provided today will supply nutritional supplements for malnourished children, health care services to those living in camps or with host communities, clean water and sanitation, hygiene supplies, and protection services to affected populations.”
He revealed that with this new funding, total U.S. humanitarian assistance since the start of the crisis is nearly $44 million adding, “As we look forward to Nigeria’s success, the United States remains committed to extending our partnership to support the Nigerian people’s vision to accelerate this country’s economic and social development.”
The UNFPA representative, Ratidzai Ndhlovu, speaking on behalf of all three UN organizations said the grant will enable the UN agencies to scale up and complement the work already started in the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. She stated, “The UN agencies will work closely together to strengthen the capacity of the primary health care system to provide additional services for those who are internally displaced including in IDP camps and host communities, thus preventing excessive neo-natal, child and maternal morbidity and mortality in the conflict-affected North East states.”
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima said the underlying cause of the insurgency is extreme poverty, but expressed his state’s resolve to overcome the challenges and come out stronger. “Be rest assured that we are going to bounce back. It is not a subject of dispute but a question of time. We have put in place a very robust platform of empowering our people, of fixing our educational system, of creating jobs,” Governor Shettima stated.
USAID Mission Director Michael T. Harvey signed the grants with the three UN agencies in the presence of Ambassador Entwistle and the governors of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe.