Norway has donated a sum of N3.6bn to girls and women who have been
victims of Boko Haram in northeast states.
Doune Porter, United Nation’s Children Fund Chief of Communication disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.
Porter said the benefitting states included Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe.
She said UNICEF wanted to provide a conducive learning environment for children in the region.
“This fund would further boost access to education for an additional half a million boys and girls in internally displaced persons’ camps, host communities and areas of Borno that have become accessible to humanitarian assistance.’’
She quoted Jens-Petter Kjemprud, Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria as saying, “We believe in the importance of doing what we can to break the cycle of violence in northeast Nigeria.
“This funding will provide more children complete basic education in a good learning environment and will provide much-needed counselling for girls who have suffered unimaginable trauma in the hands of Boko Haram,” Kjemprud said.
Norwegian Foreign Minister, Børge Brende said the funding will also support approximately 1,600 of the thousands of girls and women that have been raped or forcibly married.
“The funding will also support approximately 1,600 of the thousands of girls and women that UNICEF estimates have been raped, abducted and forcibly married as a result of the conflict.
“Not only have these victims of violence suffered the trauma of their experiences when they were held by Boko Haram,
“But when they have managed to escape or have been liberated, they often face rejection by their communities and families.
“Instead of the escaped victims of violence being welcomed back, they frequently face stigma, discrimination, and in some cases violence, especially when they return pregnant or with children born out of that sexual violence.
“In addition to traditional stigma associated with sexual violence, many communities are afraid that girls and women who have been held by Boko Haram may have been indoctrinated by their captors.
“Part of the Norwegian funds will be used in Borno to help these women and girls to reintegrate with their families and communities and rebuild their lives.
“The funding will also help to empower these women and girls to engage in the community peace building process,” he said in a statement.