Safe Space Initiative

IDPs: President Buhari applauds UNFPA over Safe Space programme

By Hassan Zaggi

President Muhamma­du Buhari has applaud­ed the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the introduction of its Safe Space programme at In­ternally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in the North East.

He has, however urged the UNFPA to scale up the Safe Space support initiative be­yond IDPs camp to host com­munities around the country. He gave the charge when he visited the UNFPA sup­ported Safe Space tent at IDPs Camp in Malkohi, Yola, Ad­amawa State.

At the UNFPA Safe Space tent, the president saw an ex­hibition of key products in­cluding wears, soap, caps, knitting and ladies bag which were produced by women and young girls who are ben­eficiaries of the skills acquisi­tion programme supported by the UNFPA. While interacting with the beneficiaries of the Safe Space scheme, the president com­mended the expertise and skills evident in the products on display. He however, advised the beneficiaries including wom­en and girls to make good use of the skills they acquired when they returned to their various communities.

Also speaking, the UNPFA Representative in Nigeria, Ratidzai Ndhlovu, disclosed that the skill acquisition pro­gramme was the component of the Safe Space designed to build capacity of beneficia­ries to enable them access economic resources and ac­celerate re-integration into communities of origin. The Safe Space, accord­ing to her, "were established in Malkohi and NYSC IDPs camps to provide enabling environment for women and girls to interact and ac­cess culturally sensitive, sexu­al and reproductive health in­formation as well as Gender Based Violence (GBV) ser­vices, including counselling, psychosocial support and re­ferral.

"It is expected to provide a platform for emotional sup­port and leisure activities in a secure and safe environment."

The UNFPA representa­tive disclosed that 70 women and girls had benefited from the Safe Space skill acquisi­tion programme in the two camps.

She further revealed that another new Safe Space will be established in Damare vil­lage host community for IDPs in the next quarter of imple­mentation.

She said that her agency has concluded plans to enrol 90 more women and girls to enable them benefit from the skill acquisition programme and psychosocial care servic­es in December.