July 30, 2014 – President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan said on Wednesday that he hoped to raise the sum of $500 million over a period of 12 months to alleviate the suffering and deprivations imposed on Nigerians living in states worst affected by terrorist attacks.
The President who spoke in Abuja said he expected members of Nigerian’s vibrant private sector and friends of the country in the international community to donate very generously to the Victims’ Support which will be formally launched tomorrow(Thursday) to provide more relief and succour for all those who have been adversely affected by terrorism and insurgency in the country.
Speaking at separate audiences with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, and the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, President Jonathan reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to doing all within its powers to help victims of insurgency and terrorism rebuild their lives and communities, said that the fund, which will be managed by a non-governmental organization, will also be deployed in support of the rebuilding of destroyed schools and the creation of a safer environment for education in affected states.
Welcoming the pledges of support from the Commonwealth and UNFPA, made by Mr. Sharma and Prof. Osotimehin, President Jonathan said that his administration appreciated the solidarity of the International Community as it grapples with the challenging task of overcoming the twin scourges of terrorism and insurgency.
“We continue to work very hard to deal with the problem. It is a major challenge and we welcome all the assistance we can get,” the President said.
He also assured Mr. Sharma that Nigeria remains fully committed to the goals of the Commonwealth and will continue to support all efforts to reform and strengthen the organization for the benefit of member-countries and their people.
Mr. Sharma had told the President that he was in Abuja to express the Commonwealth’s full solidarity with Nigeria as it contends with the very difficult task of overcoming insurgency and terrorism, and to also explore ways in which the Commonwealth could assist Nigeria in that regard.
Prof. Osotimehin said that UNFPA was already working with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and its civil society partners in Nigeria to provide a measure of support to families and girls in some affected states.
He expressed the hope that the United Nations will evolve a comprehensive programme in support of efforts to deal with the humanitarian crisis caused by terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.