The Nigerian Mission Director for United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Michael Harvey, has said that over $200 million (N40 billion) has been earmarked for the education and provision of healthcare, water supplies and sanitation for 2.2 million displaced persons in camps of Northeast of the country.
This is just as t National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is changing from emergency phase to the rehabilitation and reconstruction phases of return of the IDPs to their liberated communities.
USAID has pledged to address malnutrition among children in camps before IDPs could return to their respective communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
Harvey said while addressing IDPs in Bakassi camp that the agency would assess the state of water supplies, healthcare and education services at other camps in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
He, however, noted that even though the agency will not solve the whole problems of IDPs, there is a huge role for the federal and state government to play before the IDPs could return to their homes.
He said that another key part of his visit to camps was on the agency’s voucher programme in which electronic cash vouchers are provided to the displaced persons, adding that the international partners have been trying to put in basic platform of a minimum package of support to enable families get by, adding that when there is peace, they can go home.
He noted that “basic safety nets” had to be provided by USAID and other donor agencies in collaboration with NEMA and the states’ Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
NEMA’s Director General, Alhaji Sani Sidi, said during an interactive session with journalists on state of camps and return of displaced persons to their communities at the Gubio IDPs camp that the displaced persons are “anxious and eager” to go back to their respective liberated communities.
He, however, noted that Borno has the highest concentration of IDPs in the sub-region, with 90 per cent of them displaced from the state.