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‘We want them to be self-reliant’ — Borno bans NGOs from giving food to resettled communities

‘We want them to be self-reliant’ — Borno bans NGOs from giving food to resettled communities
December 09
12:00 2021

The Borno government has banned non-governmental organisations from distributing food and non-food items to resettled communities in the state.

The ban was issued in a letter signed by Babagana Zulum, the governor, and addressed to humanitarian organisations and development partners.

In October, the government said all camps for internally-displaced persons (IDP) located within Maiduguri, the state capital, will be closed by December 31.

The government said the decision was taken in order to help them regain their dignity and for them to be self-reliant.

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“The Borno State government wishes to acknowledge and thank you for all your support to the people and government of the state and in particular your support for people displaced internally by insurgency,” the letter reads.

“As you are aware, the Borno State government is deeply committed to supporting our people to build resilience and support themselves out of poverty.

“To this end, government has committed to closing all official IDP camps in Maiduguri by December 2021.

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“Part of this initiative is to empower people to begin to build back their lives.

“One of the cardinal principles of our resilience-building effort is to wean people off humanitarian food distribution.

“Another principle is to dignify the people and empower them to buy their own food and determine their future.

“In furtherance of this, the Borno State government, after consultation with our communities, have decided that no partner organisation shall henceforth be allowed to distribute food and non-food items in any of our resettled communities.

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“This applies to local, national, and international partners. Food distribution will only be allowed in IDP camps and IDPs in host communities for now.”

The governor also said development partners will need clearance from the government to ensure coordination and check duplication in all new areas they wish to distribute food and non-food items.

“While we look forward to your conforming with this decision, please accept my appreciation of your partnership and support to the people and government of Borno State,’’ Zulum added.

The Borno government has closed four IDP camps in Maiduguri and resettled displaced persons in their ancestral communities or in areas of their choice.

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