Gombe - The UN has commenced screening 2,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) for the first phase of providing means of livelihood and early recovery support scheme to victims of Boko Haram insurgency.
The UN Resident Co-ordinator/UNDP Resident Representative, Dr Daouda Toure, said in Gombe Monday while addressing the IDPs that the screening was to ascertain if they were actually victims of insurgency.
Toure said 500 beneficiaries would be selected from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, and the UN was partnering with the three state governments to ensure the success of the exercise.
"UNDP, in partnership with the three state governments of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, is undertaking to ameliorate the suffering of the displaced people in the three states as a result of Boko Haram insurgency.
"UNDP is embarking on the Livelihoods Support Scheme. Under the first phase, 500 victims will be selected in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
"These victims will be placed in a two-week compulsory orientation programme where you are going to undergo physical exercise, training, capacity-building on mediation, conflict prevention, conflict transformation, social integration, peaceful co-existence for two weeks.
"And because it’s an intensive programme, we are very mindful of those we select and we are doing this screening because we want people that genuinely need this assistance to be selected.
"Some of you started having hope, but unfortunately, their lives or their means of sustaining livelihood have been cut short, because of the Boko Haram insurgency.
"But let me assure you that for every one that is impacted in one way or the other, you will be accommodated in the various phases of the Early Recovery Programme. This is one of it."
Toure, who was represented by Matthew Alao, UNDP’s Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Analyst, said the beneficiaries would be placed on a six-month or one-year skills acquisition programme.
According to him, all the beneficiaries would be accommodated and also paid allowances for the entire period.
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He explained that the successful candidates would be supported with take-off grants and also equipped with the tools of the skills they acquire.
Toure cautioned the IDPs already shortlisted against lobbying, saying the scheme was not a government largesse, but a specific programme targeted at specific people who really needed help.
"After this (orientation), we will place them between six months and one year depending on the skill.
"If you want to do electrical installation for example, you can’t learn electrical installation in six months because it’s technical.
"So, you need to go for as long as one year and for all the phases, we are paying allowances.
"We will arrange for your accommodation because we are taking you out of your environment to a new environment, and for that, you must be taken care of.
"So, we are paying you allowance for the entire period that you stay and after the training, we are going to support with take-off grant. We are going to give you equipment that you are going to establish.
"Any list of shortlisted candidates is going to be passed on to the State Government. They know whom we are dealing with.
"So, we are bringing hope to you people. UNDP is bringing hope to the North East. Be assured that we are looking into your problems in phases, and it may get to you at the right time."
The representative of Yobe Governor, Suleiman Bakura, commended the UN agencies for their interventions in alleviating the sufferings of the people of North East since the insurgency started.
Bakura, who is the Director of Recruitment in Yobe, said the state government would ensure that only genuine candidates were shortlisted.
The Executive Secretary, Yobe Emergency Management Agency, Musa Jidawa, assured the candidates and victims of Boko Haram that government was doing everything possible to alleviate their sufferings.