The European Commission has announced a support package of 143 million euros (about N50.2 billion) for the early recovery and reconstruction needs in Borno, which is suffering from a worsening humanitarian crisis.
The Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja by the EU Communication Officer in Nigeria, Modestus Chukwulaka.
Minica noted that Nigeria was one of four countries across the globe experiencing or at risk of famine in 2017, along with Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.
He stated that the package combined short term EU humanitarian aid with long term development support to help those that had been devastated by the terror campaign of Boko Haram.
According to him, this reflects the commission’s strategic approach to resilience, which was presented a week ago.
He said: “Our support package of 143 million euros will assist approximately 1.3 million internally displaced people and affected communities in and around the Borno State in Nigeria.
“Our assistance will not only target the immediate needs of the people but, it will also help to restore basic services, stimulate employment and create livelihood opportunities, particularly for women and young people”.
The statement also quoted Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, as saying “the EU is committed to get lifesaving aid to those in need in Nigeria.
“Emergency aid can help them but to do so aid organisations need safe and full access to do their job. We also need to think about the long term affects and how to help communities recover.
“I have visited the country several times and seen the suffering caused by the victims of terrorism but also the strength and determination of the local people to rebuild their lives.
“It is this desire to rebuild a better future that the EU will support”.
According to him this brings total EU support for the crisis in Borno to 224.5 million euros for 2017, following earlier announcements of 81.5 million euros in humanitarian aid.
“In line with its strategic approach to resilience, the European Commission is providing a comprehensive package of humanitarian and development measures for the crisis in Nigeria.
“EU support will provide immediate humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable populations affected by the ongoing emergency situation, as well as for early recovery and restoration of basic services.
“These include health, nutrition, education, water access, sanitation and hygiene, solar power, in areas of return or resettlement,” he said.
He stated that it would also provide social protection, stimulate employment and livelihood opportunities, with a special focus on women, young people and vulnerable households.
He said that this was aimed at strengthening public administration and financial management systems in Borno.
According to him, it will help improve sustainable public service delivery, crisis management and coordination of related donor activities.