VSF Budgets N3.2b To Restore IDPs’ Livelihoods In Borno

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Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, said the Victims Support Fund (VSF) has earmarked N3.2b to restore the livelihoods of the Internally-Displaced Person (IDP) returnees in the state. According to him, 10 IDP camps were closed last year in Maiduguri metropolis. Also, on Friday, over 35, 800 households were resettled in seven councils affected in the 13-year Boko Haram insurgency. The councils included Damboa, Bama, Kaga, Mafa, Konduga, Askira/Uba and Gwoza, a border community with Cameroun. The support and intervention comprised the provisions of two phases in cash support to restore IDP returnees’ livelihoods and resilience. Unfolding the cash support, on Friday, in Maiduguri, VSF’s Executive Director, Prof. Nana Tanko disclosed that the financial package was based on the request of the Borno State government. “This is not a VSF resettlement project, but belongs to the Borno State government,” she said. She said that VSF was to support the process of returning the displaced persons affected to their communities. According to her, the support comprises basic materials for the IDP returnees, including food and non-food items. She said the non-food materials comprise mosquito nets, blankets, mattresses, wrappers and hygiene kits. Besides, she added that kitchen utensils and pounding materials were distributed to each of the returning IDP women to cook for the households. Other interventions include provisions of cash support to restore returnees’ livelihoods with Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the agricultural and livestock sectors of the economy. She said married women would get N50,000, while female heads of households are also each to be provided with N100, 000. “The male heads of households would collect of N100, 000 each,” she said, assuring that the Managing Director of the State’s Microfinance Bank had partnered with VSF in the disbursement. She said that an implementation plan had been developed to identify economic activities the households would engage in. She urged the IDP households to sustain their SMEs to restore their livelihoods. Responding to the support, Zulum said VSF had rehabilitated and equipped public buildings and healthcare centres at Bama, Dikwa, Gwoza and Ngala in 2016 and 2018. He added that Fund also constructed the destroyed public buildings, including primary schools in six councils and the distribution of livelihood materials in South Senatorial District.

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