Human Rights

World Bank pledges $775 m support for North-East Nigeria

World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, Mr Rashid Bemassaud, has said that the bank will support Nigeria with 775 million dollars, to address the critical needs of the victims of insurgency and in rebuilding the North-East.

Bemmassaud made this known during the North-East Coordination Forum and Dashboard launch by the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative (PCNI) on Tuesday, in Abuja.

The Coordination forum, with theme “Driving Multi-Sector Programmatic Recovery”, was organised by the PCNI with support from the World Bank and the UK Department for International Development (DfID).

According to him, the intervention fund will focus on addressing service delivery gaps in health, education, social protection, livelihood deficit, youth unemployment and social cohesion issues created by the protracted crises.

Bemmassaud said that the coordination forum was timely and a welcome development as it would create a well-coordinated platform for effective service delivery in the rebuilding of the North-East.

“North-East Nigeria is currently faced with a huge humanitarian development and security crises, a situation which calls for strengthened humanitarian collaboration to deliver a strategic response plan.

“This forum is geared towards translating plans into the required actions needed to achieve desired results.

“The World Bank has a strong commitment to support North-East Nigeria and to partner closely with humanitarian and other partners to achieve an integrated approach.

“These approaches are those that link short-term humanitarian needs to finding long-term social and economic solutions to the crisis.”

Bemmassaud said that the World Bank was keen on addressing the tragic and conflict challenges in the North-East and Lake Chad region, which was one of the strategic priorities in reducing poverty in the region.

He said it was time for governments in the region to focus more on implementation.

Also speaking, Mr Tijjani Tumsah, the Vice Chairman of the PCNI, said that the launch of the dashboard was a significant milestone in the rebuilding of the North-East.

He explained that as the apex coordinating body of the PCNI, it is mandated to sustain all activities in the insurgency-affected states of the North-East.

Tumsah said that the committee’s first charge was the collation and harmonisation of all existing intervention and resources from all stakeholders and actors into one cohesive national recovery plan.

According to him, the committee also developed a plan of action referred to as the Buhari Plan’, which contains holistic approach to addressing the root causes of the insurgency and the way forward.

The Vice Chairman said the PCNI would continue to focus on how to comprehensively address the challenges facing the region through effective collaboration among stakeholders.

Tumsah said the committee remained committed to facilitate, support and champion all engagement of humanitarian actors to enhance effectiveness of all interventions.

He said PCNI would also intervene in minimizing all administrative bottlenecks that would constitute a hindrance towards achieving a safe, secure and prosperous North-East

Also speaking, Mr Robert Watt, Head, Region Office of DFID, said the launch of the dashboard was an advancement in the roadmap to the North-East recovery phase.

He said that the UK would continue to support the Federal Government and scale up its intervention for the reconstruction of the North-East.

Watt disclosed the humanitarian funds from the UK to Nigeria had increased from one million pounds in 2015 to 82 million pounds in 2017 and that there was a plan to scale up the fund.

In a remark, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator to Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon said that there was significant scale up in the humanitarian intervention in the North-East, adding that a lot still needed to be done.

Source: Voice of Nigeria