By Mustapha Yauri
Abuja – The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) with the support of the Canadian Government has donated 109 dignity kits and culturally appropriate dress for the rehabilitation of rescued Chibok school girls.
Dr Eugene Kongnyuy, the Deputy Representative and Officer-in-Charge, UNFPA Nigeria, made the donation to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in Abuja on Friday. He said a dignity kit contains 40 pieces of sanitary napkins, underwear, socks, washing power, gel shampoo, two pieces of tooth paste, two brushes and towel.
Other items in the kits are nail clipper, hair brush, solar powered torch light, under-scarf set hijab, fleece blanket and back pack.
Kongnyuy said women and girls are the most vulnerable when it comes to humanitarian crises, adding that the humanitarian community in North East estimated that 14 million people were affected by the crises.
He added that of the 14 million people affected by insurgency, 3.5 million people are women and girls, and close to 600,000 are pregnant, these women had passed through severe trauma.
He said these traumas include force abduction, force marriage, emotional, sexual and physical violence.
He noted that some of the pregnant women trapped by the insurgency do not know where to obtain maternal and other reproductive health services.
According to him, UNFPA with the support of partners had provided some of such services, and the federal and state government efforts had beefed-up such services.
He added that UNFPA also provide psycho-social support and counselling, medical care, shelter and welfare, skills acquisition training and development.
The official appreciated the government of Canada for supporting UNFPA to provide these services, adding that the funding has impacted the health and rights of women in the region.
Earlier, Mr Christopher Thornley, the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, said Canada is proud to support the rescued Chibok girls through the humanitarian funding to UNFPA.
Thornley said the girls survived horrific experience and deserve the support necessary to reintegrate into society with their freedom and dignity along with skills and education that will give them opportunity to thrive.
“We hope that through the support that they receive it can serve a lesson on how best to support the many other survivors in the Boko Haram conflict,’’ he said.
Thornly said Chibok girls were symbolic of a vast humanitarian challenge affecting millions of lives.
He added that Canada has stepped up this year to provide 27.35 million Canadian dollars to UN agencies and NGOs for humanitarian assistance in North East Nigeria.
“Recently, Canada also launched Famine Relief Fund, aimed at providing humanitarian assistance to more than 20 million people that are at risk of starvation as a result of conflict or severe drought,’’ the envoy said.
Receiving the items, the Minister of Women Affairs, Sen. Aisha Alhassan, commended the support and assured that the kits would be distributed to the targeted group.
Alhassan said that donation would complement the efforts being made by the Federal and affected State Governments to cushion the lives of the victims of the insurgency.