By Chibuzor Emejor, Abuja
The European Union (EU) has approved a grant of N325 million for community-based psychosocial support and protection of children and adolescents in Borno State.
This was disclosed by head of the EU delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS Commission, Michel Arrion, at the signing of the financing agreement for the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).
The programme would be implemented by the United Nations Children ‘s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Borno State government.
Arrion said programme, which would last for a year, would provide psychological first aid to 45,000 children affected by insurgency in Borno State, and those that require sustained support to recover from trauma would be referred to specialist services.
The programme would also be implemented in conjunction with the Borno State Ministry of Women Affairs and other non-governmental organizations, to strengthen the institutional framework for planning and provision of psychosocial support to 11 local government areas in Borno State.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of National Planning, Abubakar Sulaiman, thanked the EU for the gesture and said that the project would complement the on-going 10th EDF Support to Immunisation Governance in Nigeria, especially the eradication of polio.
He said the programme would restore confidence and access to health and education to residents by helping to restore the psychological well-being of children and adolescents who have been exposed to traumatic and distressing conditions.