Korea supports fistula care in Nigeria with $500,000

Rafat Salami

The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA in Nigeria says it has received a $500,000 grant from the Korean Republic International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to scale-up support for fistula repairs and emergency obstetrics care in Borno State, northeast of the country.

A statement from the UNFPA said KOICA has also requested that the UNFPA submits a multi-year proposal of $5million to scale-up humanitarian work in Borno State.

The statement said funding was released after a UNFPA-KOICA   expert’s mission to Borno State.

According to the statement, the mission led by the UNFPA Nigeria   Representative  Beatrice Mutali,   and   Mr.   Kyu-Duk   Noh,   the   Republic   of   Korea’s Ambassador to Nigeria, met with the Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima.

During   the   mission,   Governor   Shettima   commended   the   Korean Republic for its support to the people of Borno and requested that the funds   be   invested   more   in   providing   infrastructure,   schools,    health facilities and shelter for internally displaced persons and for the host communities. Governor Shettima also urged quick intervention to meet life-saving needs of affected communities, early recovery and resilience in   building   of   social   services,   economic   infrastructure and  livelihood support programmes.

The State sees it as a game-changer for any surviving girl-child to have access to education, and partners can come in to support the State in infrastructure, such as rebuilding schools and restoring health centres”, the Governor appealed.

The Korean Ambassador had earlier pledged his Government’s resolve to partner with UNFPA to work in Borno. Mr. Noh noted that, even though KOICA, had been working in Nigeria, it was an opportunity for the government to choose to be in at least three selected local government areas and ensure that its assistance positively affected the lives of the people.

The   Ambassador   added:   “we   in   the   Republic   of   Korea   know   and understand what the people of Borno are going through because there was a time when my country was depending on donors’ funding and, as the saying goes, a friend in need is a friend indeed.”

The mission also coincided with Multi-donor visit to the state, it was organized by the UNCT, led by the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator,   on   the   team   were   Irish,   DFID,   USAID,   EU,   Norway, Sweden, and Spain, Japan, Netherlands and the two Ambassadors of South Korea and Ireland joined.

The mission assessment was aimed to give donors an overview of humanitarian needs, response and gaps in the area, and is aimed at enabling them better placed to appropriately brief their principles who will meet at the Oslo Conference.

The   delegations visited   the   Muna   Garage   displaced   persons’   camp during their two-day engagement, and met with government officials and key humanitarian stakeholders in the State. The visit was designed to seek for more and sustainable support to speed-up of reconstruction as well a as the rehabilitation, resettlement of displaced persons in Borno State.