From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
A group of local humanitarian organisations, Mercy Vincent Foundation and EYN Maiduguri supported by UK aid are reviewing the effectiveness of aids given to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) following the village.
Executive Director Mercy Vincent Foundation (MVF), Mr Palmer Okpako in a presentation during the review tagged learning and reflection weekend in Maiduguri, said the five months support project done by the group in collaboration with the Christian Aid Nigeria, another local organization, was designed to help displaced victims of insurgency in IDPs camps cope with COVID-19 impact.
Okpako noted that the IDPs were the most vulnerable and susceptible to contracting COVID-19 due to their poor nutritional and health status, limited or lack of access to safe water, congestion in camps and other reasons. He said the economic impact of the lockdown measures on the IDPs could be more catastrophic if humanitarian bodies do not rise to the occasion.
“Many IDPs will be disproportionately affected by the economic repercussions of lockdown measures, given their already precarious circumstances and heavy dependence on casual labour and/or external supports from humanitarian organisations to meet their basic needs,” he said quoting from a recent report by the Geneva headquarters of United Nations.
He said the review attended by community leaders and IDPs was organised to examine how the beneficiaries of the various supports given to them by the group have utilized them. He explained that the outcome of the review which will be documented, would help in similar future intervention by other organizations.
He disclosed that the group sunk 10 boreholes in 22 communities in Borno to provide safe water, distributed N20,000 to individuals in 1,080 households in four local governments to buy food items. He said capacity training was also organised for 352 Community Health Workers (CHEW) to help locals on primary health challenges and sanitation.
Christian Aid Cash coordinator, one of the partners, Sendi Dauda disclosed that the project was a localised preparedness and response to primary and secondary impact of COVID-19 on IDPs, returnees and vulnerable population in hard-to-reach areas in Nigeria and Afghanistan.
Some IDPs women presented details account of how they used the money support given to them. About 3 million people have been displaced in the northeast in the over a decade of Boko Haram insurgency.