Boko Haram: VSF earmarks N120m to empower 7,000 widows
The Executive Director, Victims Support Fund, Prof. Sunday Ocheche, said the organisation had earmarked N120 million to support 7,000 widows and other vulnerable women affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Ocheche made this known at the inauguration of the project held in Maiha Local Government Area of Adamawa State on Wednesday.
He said that the beneficiaries were those in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
Ocheche said that the development was to assist improve livelihood and create business opportunity for the widows who lost their husbands to Boko Haram insurgency.
Ocheche said: “As part of the organisation’s humanitarian intervention in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, about 7, 000 widows and other vulnerable women would be assisted with unconditional cash grant.
“Each beneficiary will receive N20, 000 cash to restart a small business of her choice.”
The executive director said that the programme started last year with 1,000 Internally Displaced Women living in some camps in Maiduguri.
He added that after the successful outcome result of the exercise, the organisation decided to expand it to reach more women and cover additional affected states.
He explained that due to the dynamic nature of the project, it would be extended to cover other affected states in the region in the future.
In her remark, Prof. Nana Tanko, the Director of the Programme of VSF, said that Borno State had the highest number of beneficiaries of 3,500 and would be given N50 million grant.
She said that Adamawa with the total of 2,000 widows would follow with N40 million while Yobe with 1,500 beneficiaries would have N30 million.
Tanko said that the beneficiaries were contacted and intensively selected through their local cooperative groups by some recognised Civil Society Organisations working in the three affected states.
She said that in Adamawa four local government areas: Maiha, Mubi South, Mubi North and Michika were selected by the state government to participate in the programme.
She said that Borno had five local government areas: Chibok, Askira-Uba, Gubio, Mafa and Kaga, while in Yobe, Gujba and Gulani local government areas were selected.
In their separate responses on behalf of the beneficiaries, Governors Muhammadu Jibrillah Bindow and Kashim Shettima of Adamawa and Borno States respectively, thanked the VSF for the wonderful “humanitarian assistances”.
They were represented by Hajiya Maisaratu Bello and Hajiya Fanta Baba-Shehu, the Adamawa Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and the Borno State Commissioner of Women Affairs respectively.
The two governors, however, warned the beneficiaries to judiciously use the fund for the purpose intended to better their lives.