Fed Govt committed to terror victims’ assistance, says Jonathan
•Targets over $500 Million income for Victims Support Fund
President Goodluck Jonathan has said he expects members of the organised private sector (OPS) and friends of the country to donate generously to the Victims’ Support Fund to be launched today in Abuja.
The fund will provide more relief and succour to those affected by terrorism and insurgency.
A statement yesterday in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said Jonathan spoke during 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.
Jonathan hoped that about $500 million will be raised through the fund in the next 12-month to alleviate the suffering and deprivation of Nigerians living in states affected by the terrorist attacks.
The President said his administration was committed to helping the victims of insurgency and terrorism rebuild their lives and communities.
He said the fund, to be managed by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), will also be deployed to rebuild destroyed schools and create a safer environment for education in the affected states.
Jonathan welcomed the pledges of support from the Commonwealth and UNFPA, made by Mr. Sharma and Prof. Osotimehin.
The President stressed that his administration appreciated the solidarity of the international community as Nigeria grapples with terrorism and insurgency.
He said: “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.”
He also assured Sharma that Nigeria remained committed to the goals of the Commonwealth and would continue to support efforts to reform and strengthen the organisation for the benefit of member-countries and their people.
Sharma told Jonathan that he was in Abuja to express the Commonwealth’s solidarity for Nigeria to overcome insurgency and terrorism.
The Commonwealth chief said the organisation was also exploring ways to assist Nigeria in the fight against insurgency.
Prof. Osotimehin said UNFPA was working with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and its civil society partners to support the families and girls in the states affected by insurgency.
He hoped the United Nations (UN) would evolve a comprehensive programme to support the humanitarian crisis terrorism and insurgency had caused in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.