The British Deputy Commissioner in Lagos Laure Beaufils, said the UK has committed a hundred million pounds to support Internally Displaced Persons in the North East of Nigeria.
While speaking as a guest on “Today on STV”, she said the commitment will lead to food for millions of people, education, clean water, and support for acute malnutrition.
She also said, that the money would be coming in through the United Nations, and other bodies like the Red Cross and International NGOs will be working in different areas of the project.
She stated that it is a big challenge to carry out this assignment especially in the area of security but it is a priority and they will be working with government to carry out the assignment.
She said since it is all about need, they will be working with the NGOs to make sure the food and other materials get to the people who need them most.
She reacted to the issue of insecurity, stating that there hasn’t been any linear progress as insecurity comes and go during the delivery of relief materials; but they will be careful.
She said the problem in the North Eastern part of Nigeria Is about the long term future like, creating livelihoods for people, education, infrastructure, markets and not just the humanitarian needs, to create circumstances for them to come home.
She also said the UK government is grateful to its partners like Civil Society Groups for creating access to remote areas, which would not have been reached ordinarily.
She stressed on “Political Will” as the solution to a reconstruction and rebuilding of the North Eastern part of Nigeria and there is a general recognition that it is an international and national priority.
She said there is willingness to shift from humanitarian development, to a long term future with the government and states in the north eastern part of Nigeria which is a part of the UK political and diplomatic engagement.
She also said that the financial target may be difficult to reach, but with partnership, political will, and different stakeholders like the military, and general commitment to peace, it can be achieved.
She said there is no need to talk about success because the numbers are getting worse, famine is really looming and lots of children are dying but the key thing is to focus on what has to be done.
She concluded with an affirmation that BREXIT will make the UK relationship with Africa stronger, and they are committed be more internationally focused to have strong international partnership with Nigeria.
She said there has been an improvement in the area of Agriculture (agro processing, commercial agriculture), which brings lot of jobs, improve livelihood, peace and stability which is part of humanitarian development investor confidence, but there are still chances of insecurity in the north and middle belt and Niger delta and these issues need to be addressed between now and 2019.