EU earmarks €143m for North East

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European Commission

The European Union Commission on Thursday in Brussels, Belgium, announced a support package of €143m to help the early recovery and reconstruction needs in the North East region of Nigeria.

The package is for the provision of basic services including energy, education and health, job creation, strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems as well as public financial management systems.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma who signed the package agreement on behalf of Nigeria said the support shows yet another positive effort in the collaboration between the EU and the Nigerian Government to collectively work towards ameliorating the sufferings of the victims of Boko Haram insurgency.

The minister, according to a statement from his Media Adviser, Mr Akpandem James on Thursday night quoted him to have said, “A total sum of €143m is now secured from the EU under this framework for ameliorating of the sufferings of the affected population estimated at more than 14 million people.”

He said that since the resurgence of the humanitarian crisis in the North East, the government has devoted substantial resources to bringing the situation under control, meet the humanitarian needs of the victims and restore normalcy to the area.

However, in spite of the efforts, Udoma said there is still a huge funding gap, which is why the Federal Government appreciates the support of the EU and the United Nations systems.

Bot agencies, according to the minister, have been very useful in leading the other development partners in the support process.

Udoma noted that the process for the selection of implementation partners has reached an advanced stage with the World Bank and some of the components of the project.

“This demonstrates the fact that the EU is committed to timely execution of the project and the bureaucracy that is traditionally associated with the EDF instrument will be minimized in the implementation of this project,” he added.

EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said the support package will assist approximately 1.3 million internally displaced people and affected communities in and around the Borno State.

Mimica said, “Our assistance will not only target the immediate needs of the people but, it will also help to restore basic services, stimulate employment and create livelihood opportunities, particularly for women and young people”.

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