Japan has extended a grant of $4.5 million (N1.4 billion) to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to assist victims of the crisis in the north-eastern part of the country.
This is contained in a statement by Mr John Chukwuma Nwankwo, Senior Assistant/Advisor on General Affairs, Information & Culture of the Japanese Embassy in Abuja on Thursday.
According to the statement, the funding is expected to provide life-saving emergency work to assists people affected and displaced by the conflict. “The grant will cover assistance in the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities; health, nutrition and child protection services and education.
“It will focus primarily on assistance for children, with special attention given to populations trying to return to where they lived before they were forced to flee the violence. “ The seven years of conflict in northeast Nigeria, especially in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, have caused massive human suffering, with children and women bearing the brunt of the difficulties”, it stated.
The statement quotes, Ms Jean Gough, UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria as saying that “the people of Japan are strong supporters of UNICEF’s work to help children and women”. It states that generous grant will help to make a tangible difference in the lives of children who have suffered so much.
It will help them to recover physically and psychologically so that they can be children, can go to school and have a brighter future,” It added. Also the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke assured of his government’s commitment to promote the rights of children in Nigeria. The ambassador said that Japan believes that primary education, health and nutrition are some of the basic rights of every child anywhere in the world.
The statement adds that Japan has and will continue to make efforts to ensure that no child is denied these basic rights, no matter the situation.” It states that Japanese Government, in 2015, supported UNICEF and its partners to boost primary health care services in more than 100 health facilities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
It added that the 2015 fund was also able to provide more than 65,000 people with clean water and more than 25,000 people with access to safe sanitation. “Education was improved through creating temporary learning spaces for children in camps for the displaced; malnourished children were provided with life-saving treatment.
“Special support has been given to children who have been separated from their families by the conflict, and traumatised children have been given psychosocial support,” it stated. Since 2,000, Japan has made significant contributions to the support of child survival activities and emergency assistance in Nigeria, through the UNICEF/Federal Government programme of cooperation.