UN partners Borno, NEDC to resettle 2.2m IDPs in N’East
United Nations (UN) has promised to partner Borno State government and North East Development Commission (NEDC) to resettle and address the challenges of about 2.2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the three North East states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe ravaged by Boko Haram.
Assistant Secretary General of the UN, Robert Piper, who is also the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Internal Displacement, revealed the partnership, yesterday, when he led a UN delegation to visit the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEDC, Mohammed Alkali, in Maiduguri.
Piper said the essence of the visit was for the UN to learn how the state and the NEDC handled the humanitarian crisis and see how it could support Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno, who has shown commitment to ensure that the citizens displaced mostly in 2011 by insurgency were resettled and reintegrated to their communities.
According to him, the solution to displacement requires investment and that it was not something that happens overnight, stressing that displacement requires investment in infrastructure, health facilities that are functioning, return of persons displaced from schools, with teachers showing up in classrooms.
“It is a long-term development enterprise, not a short-term emergency work. To me, NEDC is one of the instruments that holds the key. I believe you are a long-term investor after seeing your portfolio and plans, they are long-term structural business.
When we think of the 2.2 million persons displaced in the North-East out of which 1.6 are from Borno State, we acknowledge that a lot of people are affected. They need to be on the move; they need to be reintegrated and join communities. We don’t invest exclusively in each family, but we lift the communities and neighbourhoods.
“So, the investment benefit is not just to the 2.2 million displaced persons, but to the communities where they live,” Piper said. Responding, Alkali said he was amazed during a meeting between the UN and the governor when he heard Piper reveal the vision and concerns the UN had for the IDPs.
On the pledged UN support, the NEDC boss said: “We should look into some areas where we can build roads and improve agricultural and food security in the region.
“The Vice President, Kashim Shettima, at the weekend commissioned the Jere bowl road in Borno to boost production of rice and vegetables.” He assured the delegation of NEDC’s commitment to improving access to education and farmlands to create jobs for women and youths in the six conflict-affected states of Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, Taraba, Gombe and Yobe.
“We are also looking at how to protect the environment and restore IDPs’ livelihoods and other economic activities.”
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.