The World Bank has earmarked $800 million to support the rebuilding of the infrastructure destroyed in the North East by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms Fatma Samoura, made the disclosure on yesterday in Maiduguri during a courtesy visit to Gov. Kashim Shettima.
Samoura, who is also a UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, said the UN was scaling up its presence in Borno and other North Eastern states ravaged by the insurgency.
“Yesterday, we had a long discussion with the World Bank team that came from Washington to attend the workshop.
“The workshop is for validating the year findings of the recovery and peace-building assessment.
“They have promised to leverage 800 million dollars for the North East to response to recovery, rehabilitation, de-mining, waste management and debris processing for the North East of Nigeria,’’ she said.
The UN representative regretted that the UN was having challenges in mobilising resources for Nigeria in view of the humanitarian crises in other parts of the world.
“As we all know, the Syrian crisis that is affecting Europe is also taking a heavy toll in terms of funding from our traditional donors.
“We are trying our best to ensure that our advocacy and our communication strategy are up to the level where we will be receiving more attention from the donor community.
“The humanitarian response plan, as we speak, is just 10 per cent funded, meaning we have only received 24 million dollars.
“This is out of 248 million dollars budgeted for the North East of Nigeria for 2016,” she said.
Samoura, however, pledged that the UN would continue to complement the World Bank and the EU supports to address the root causes of poverty and exclusion in the North East.
“The UN will be on your side in order to address the humanitarian situation.
“The UN will also support the Borno Government in its work on recovery and rehabilitation for the safe return of the IDPs back to their areas of origin,” she said.
Samoura said her visit to Maiduguri was to demonstrate the sympathy of the UN to the appalling situation of the 1.8 million people who have been displaced by insurgency.
She commended the strong leadership and commitment of the governor to finding sustainable solutions to safe and voluntary return of the IDPs to their places of origin.
Responding, Gov Shettima commended the UN for standing by the government and people of Borno in identifying the root causes and also finding lasting solutions to the insurgency.
Shettima, however, described that the $800 million pledge by the World Bank as grossly inadequate in view of the enormous challenges left behind by the insurgency.
“It is in the interest of humanity to rally round Nigeria over Boko Haram. The developed world gave Turkey two billion dollars to resettle refugees from Syria.
“There are about two million IDPs from Borno and 20 Local Government Areas were overran by Boko Haram and there is food crisis now in the state,” he said.
He, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his support to Borno and victims of insurgency.