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.