Former CMD urges FG to establish centres to tackle Lassa fever

FG launches North East’s recovery, peace building

FG launches North East’s recovery, peace building NAN-H-79 Reconstruction Abuja, Jan. 25, 2016 (NAN) The Federal Government on Monday launched a Recovery and Peace Building Assessment (RPBA) programme for the states in the North East in furtherance of its determination to rebuild and rehabilitate the region. The programme is in conjunction with the World Bank, the European Union and the United Nations. The federal government-led initiative would be conducted within the framework of the Joint EU-UN-WB Declaration on international crisis recovery cooperation with the North-East states of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Gombe, Taraba and Bauchi. The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Mariam Uwais, said the RPBA would essentially build upon existing initiatives and body of work on the North East produced at the federal and state levels. They include the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) and the North East States Transformation Strategy (NESTS). “Such an objective platform with details gathered from the community members themselves, would afford this country the veritable foundation for social interventions at all levels. `

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`Our office is set to set up a lean coordinating hub at the federal level for coordinating all safety nets that currently exist in ministries and government agencies. “With states and local governments, we hope to set minimum standards and criteria, monitor the implementation of projects at all levels of government. “We will establish uniform structures and feasible delivery mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation, research and reporting to make for efficiency, transparency and accountability,’’ she said. The World Bank Country Director, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, noted that insurgency in the North East had claimed several lives and created a lot of humanitarian problems. He said the organisation was pleased to continue with the engagement of the government in formulating a peace building and effective recovery system in the North East. “The aim is to support the government in the assessment and prioritisation of immediate and medium term peace building needs, including assistance to the conflict affected people,’’ said the director. He said that the RPBA would cover infrastructure and social services; peace building, stability and social cohesion as well as economic recovery. He said the programme would address the causes and proffer solutions to the development challenges in the region. The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Michel Arrion, restated the commitment of the organisation toward peace and development of the North East. According to him, Nigeria’s population and large economy entail that the European nations see the country’s challenges and problems as theirs. “The threats from the insurgencies and brutal criminal actions of terrorist groups are a threat not only to the stability of Nigeria and the immediate region but also to the whole Africa and indeed by extension to Europe. “We are deeply committed to working with our Nigerian friends to defeat the terrorist threats and help return stability and security to the troubled North Eastern region.’’ He said the EU would continue to provide humanitarian assistance and also assist the Office of the National Security Adviser as well as the Joint Military Task Force in the Lake Chad region. He noted the acute poverty and alienation of people of the region as a problem, adding that the situation in the region is a national crisis which the resources in the region could not deal with. He said steps should be taken to enable the IDPs return home voluntarily and warned that the success of battle against insurgency should not be measured by the number of such IDPs who returned. Arrion expressed optimism that the Buhari administration would provide clarity on leadership and institutional framework for the affected region. He added that the political, security, development and humanitarian response should be coordinated and civilian lead. According to him, stability in the region cannot be achieved in the absence of the four elements. President Muhammadu Buhari had during his visit to the U.S. in July 2015, met with the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, and representatives of other donor agencies where he secured their commitments in supporting federal government’s efforts in the North-East. (NAN)

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