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$400,000 KOICA-Funded Project Flag-Off In Borno

Mallumbe formally flagging off the project in Maiduguri on Tuesday

A $400,000 Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) funded humanitarian project has been flagged-off in Borno. 

The one year project being implemented by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) was coming after the conclusion of the first phase project worth $5m aimed at fostering resilience and provision of basic medical services for women and girls in Borno which lasted five years.

Speaking at the flag-off in Maiduguri, the Borno Commissioner of Budget and Planning, Alhaji Babagana Mallumbe, said the 2nd phase project which is a follow-up is expected to bridge the gaps in returnee communities through access to quality life-saving integrated sexual reproductive health among others.

Mallumbe lauded KOICA and UNFPA for their humanitarian interventions in Borno and urged for sustained partnership. 

Mallumbe noted the devastating impact of the more than a decade long insurgency in the state and urged the partners for more grants to Borno to enable it tackle the deficits recorded in many areas.

In her remarks, the Borno Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, lauded the interventions by KOICA through UNFPA which she said impacted positively on women and children affected by the insurgency. 

“Women and children are the most beneficiaries of these interventions.”

Gambo cited the ultra-modern fistula center and one-stop training centers established under the first phase that attended to many women and girls with the problem as well as provided them skills acquisition training and starter kits for businesses of their choice.

She noted that Borno needed more support from donors to attend to more women and girls that escaped from the enclaves of insurgents that are in need of psychological support and skills acquisition training. 

In their respective remarks, the Borno Commissioner of Health, Prof. Baba M. Gana, and Executive Secretary of Borno State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Prof. Mohammed Arab, also lauded the impact of the KOICA interventions in the health sector, particularly in reducing maternal mortality. 

They also noted the training opportunities it provided health workers in the state, adding that the second phase would further strengthen the health sector. 

“We still need more support in the health sector, particularly in tackling maternal mortality in Borno,” the health commissioner said.

Speaking on behalf of UNFPA, the Humanitarian Coordinator and Head of UNFPA Maiduguri Office, Mr Christian Sabum, reiterated the humanitarian organization’s commitment to zero maternal death and gender based violence among others.

Sabum, who described the second phase of the intervention and a follow-up, said KOICA was impressed with the outcome of the first phase and decided to come in with the second phase.

“KOICA was impressed after the project evaluation and this current follow-up would serve as a bridge to government ownership of the projects mostly located in its facilities. 

“We thank KOICA for trusting UNFPA and the people of Borno,” Sabum said.

In his remarks, the KOICA Country Director, Mr Sungil Son, expressed satisfaction with the interventions and the impact so far recorded,  adding that Borno would continue to get priority attention from KOICA.

Son lauded UNFPA for the prudent management of resources for maximum results and the Government of Borno for its vision. 

“I hope this is not the end of KOICA’s engagement with UNFPA in Borno, ” Son said.

Highlight of the occasion is visits to some of the projects executed under the first phase by KOICA country director and other stakeholders.  

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