The Guardian
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Red Cross, Japan partner to uplift insurgency victims


boko haram womenA PARTNERSHIP that provides emergency support to no fewer than 100,000 insurgency victims in North-Eastern Nigeria has been struck between the Japanese Government and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

In a statement yesterday in Abuja yesterday announcing a donation of $770,000, the Communication Officer, Nwakpa O. Nwakpa, said the Nigerian Red Cross Society, with the support of IFRC, would implement a programme that focuses largely on enabling healthy and safe living for affected families.

According to him, the programme targets vulnerable women, children and the elderly in Adamawa, Borno and Bauchi states, and will mainstream gender-related activities, psychosocial support, community health, livelihoods, shelter and relief materials.

Similarly, the Japanese Embassy in Nigeria, “the Government of Japan is seriously concerned about the tremendous damage caused by insurgents in Nigeria and the negative impact it is having in neighbouring countries. We have therefore decided to extend humanitarian support to internally displaced persons through the Nigerian Red Cross.”

For the Secretary General, Nigerian Red Cross Society, Bello Hamman Diram, the interventions will reduce the traumatic experiences of insurgency victims, especially those who lost loved ones and valuables.

“These activities will contribute to the reduction of suffering and risks of development of severe trauma by those who have lost family members and friends,” he said, and will “promote social and economic livelihoods, and mobilise community strengths. This will increase the possibility of those affected to regain the capacity to rebuild their lives.”

While appreciating the Japanese Government for the contribution, Diram said the Red Cross has lived above board in its response interventions, noting that not all humanitarian services could move at the pace the agency does.

He added: “Not many humanitarian organisations can respond, due to the precarious and fluidity of the current insecure environment, but the Red Cross is a community-based organisation that enjoys community acceptance and access. This allows us to continue responding to the insecurity through both emergency and developmental projects.”

Diram further encouraged all Nigerians, as well as corporate and international bodies, to come to the aid of victims by providing them the opportunity to survive their ordeals.

Over 600,000 people have been displaced by the ongoing violence in parts of Northern Nigeria, with an estimated 60,000 having fled to neighbouring countries like Chad, Cameroun and Niger, while others remaining and the returnees are in urgent need of shelter, access to water and sanitation, food and household supplies, among other needs.

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