The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said over $200M (N40 billion) has been set aside for the education, provision of healthcare, water supplies and sanitation for 2.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps of northeast of Nigeria.
IDP camps have become important in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeastern States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, where thousands have fled their homes after deadly attacks or for fear of being attacked.
The Guardian reports that the USAID Nigeria Mission Director, Michael Harvey said while addressing IDPs in Bakassi camp that the agency would assess the state of water supplies, healthcare and education services at other camps in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
USAID has also pledged to address malnutrition among children in camps before IDPs could return to their respective communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
Harvey noted that even though the agency will not solve the whole problems of IDPs, there is a huge role for the federal and state government to play before the IDPs could return to their homes.
He said that another key part of his visit to camps was on the agency’s voucher programme in which electronic cash vouchers are provided to the displaced persons, adding that the international partners have been trying to put in basic platform of a minimum package of support to enable families get by, adding that when there is peace, they can go home.
He noted that “basic safety nets” had to be provided by USAID and other donor agencies in collaboration with National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the State’ Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
NEMA’s Director General, Alhaji Sani Sidi, said during an interactive session with journalists on state of camps and return of displaced persons to their communities at the Gubio IDPs camp that the displaced persons are “anxious and eager” to go back to their respective liberated communities.
He noted that Borno has the highest concentration of IDPs in the sub-region, with 90 per cent of them displaced from the state.