Posted by: Tony AKOWE

Help is finally coming the way of about 45,000 children and adolescents displaced by the activities of the Boko a Haram insurgents in Borno State as the European Union is set to make available the sum of N325 million to support community-based psychosocial protection for them.Boko-Haram-gunmen

Speaking at a signing ceremony of the financing agreement for the 11th European Development Fund support for strengthening community-based psychosocial and protection services for children and adolescents in Borno State, the Minister for National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, said the project will be implemented in 300 communities across 11 local government areas in the state for a period of 36 months.

The Minister said by authorising the financing agreement, Nigeria will be on the right path to mitigate the adverse impact of social upheavals and insecurity in Borno State. This, he said, would also significantly assist Nigeria in achieving its developmental goals articulated in the Vision 20-2020.

He said: “In 2014, the federal government of Nigeria signed the 11th EDF National Indicative Programme with the European Union for the implementation of development programmes and projects covering health, nutrition and resilience, sustainable energy and access to electricity, rule of law, governance and democracy.

“Of importance to today’s event is the support for strengthening community-based psychosocial and protection services for children and adolescents in Borno State, Nigeria, which falls into social infrastructure and service sector of the 11th EDF.

“I wish to inform you that the support for strengthening community-based psychosocial and protection services for children and adolescents projects under the 11th EDF arms to promote a community-led protective environment for children and adolescents through strengthening community-based services including psychosocial support.

“The project is expected to contribute to mitigating the negative psychosocial implications of the humanitarian crisis that currently plagues Borno State, which has largely disrupted education and health services, including immunization activities.

“The project will compliment the ongoing 10th EDF support to immunization governance in Nigeria, especially the polio eradication component which has been a source of concern to residents on Borno State.”

Head of the European Union in Nigeria, Ambassador Michel Arrion, said the programme will provide psychological first aid services to 45,000 children affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno State, especially those that require sustained support to recover from the trauma they have suffered, who will be referred to specialists’ services.

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