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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) says it will support one million displaced persons in Nigeria’s northeast in the rebuilding process.
This is coming just as peace has returned to three most security threatened northeast states – Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
In a press conference in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State, the Executive Director of the WFP, Ms Ertharin Cousin, said beneficiaries drawn from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States would use the support to improved agriculture and fight hunger and poverty in the region.
Towards Agricultural Productivity
In Yobe State alone, according to her, 350,000 people will benefit from the arrangement also geared towards checking poverty among the people.
“In January this year, WFP will support one million people across the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe state who are still in need of assistance.
“In Yobe state, 350,000 people will be assisted in the rebuilding process which is aimed at checking hunger and poverty among the people who suffered insurgency over the years,” Ms Ertharin said.
She appreciated the role played by the Yobe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) towards actualising the assistance for the less privileged.

Ms. Ertharin assured the people that the WFP would work hard towards returning the affected states to peace, growth and even development. 

“We must return these states bedeviled by Boko Haram to the pre-conflict era and that requires us to work assiduously in partnership with other stakeholders to achieve the desired results,” she said.
The Executive Director told reporters that the WFP would work towards agricultural productivity of the returnees by ensuring they were provided with improved seedlings ahead of the 2017 cropping season so that, with the improved peace, they could engage themselves in gainful ventures that would check hunger and poverty.
She also said they were working in partnership with UNICEF among other stakeholders to address the problems of malnutrition suffered in September last year among the displaced children in the region.
“Our work is all about providing the humanitarian needs to ensure these families have not just the ability to return home but also rebuild their lives.”
The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, whose speech was read by his deputy Abubakar Aliyu, said over 600,000 IDPs and other less privileged had so far benefited from cash transfer and food assistance by the WFP.
“While thanking you individually and collectively for your humanitarian role in ameliorating the plight of the IDPs and other vulnerable groups, I wish to stress that over 600,000 IDPs have so far benefited from cash and food assistance from your organisation.
“This development will go a long way in checking hunger, starvation and poverty among the displaced persons in the state and beyond,” he stressed.
The Governor also thanked the WFP for establishing a Center for Capacity Development on Humanitarian Studies at the Yobe State University, saying it will greatly enhance the capacity of operators of humanitarian activities within the northeast zone.

UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said the insurgency had affected about five million people, including more than 2.2 million Nigerians who are internally displaced and almost 180,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries.

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