The Victims Support Fund (VSF) on Friday began the disbursement of N180 million to 6, 000 women displaced by Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
VSF’s Director, Dr Sunday Ochoche, who spoke at the commencement of the cash distribution in Bama, Borno, said that the amount would be disbursed to women in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
Ochoche, who was represented by Prof. Nana Tanko, disclosed that 2,500 women would benefit from the scheme in Borno, with 2,000 and 1, 500 others in Adamawa and Yobe, respectively.
He said that Bama and Magumeri local government areas were designated to participate in the exercise.
He stated that each of the beneficiaries would receive N30, 000 to enable them to set up their businesses.
Ochoche said that the amount was increased to N30, 000 from N20, 000 disbursed to each beneficiary in previous exercises conducted between 2016 and 2017.
He said that the objective of the project was to assist women who were household heads to become financially independent through cash grants, to setup income generating activities.
“VSF’s Women Economic Empowerment programme has consistently been scaled up financially and numerically, targeting more women in resettled communities.
“Each of the selected 6, 000 women will receive N30, 000 to enable them to set up their businesses and engage in productive activities independent of women affected by the insurgency,” he said.
Ochoche revealed that 5, 000 women had benefited from the scheme in the affected communities and encouraged to form small scale producer clusters otherwise called Community-Based Women Entrepreneur Group.
He noted that the clusters encouraged enterprises such as grain and oil mills, weaving and other businesses, which enabled women to engage in gainful activities as well as improve their social and economic conditions.
According to him, the fund had also provided livelihood to 20,000 women to enable them engage in livestock production, crop production and agricultural processing.
Ochoche added that the agency also distributed fertilisers, inputs, tractors and power tillers to households in resettled communities during the wet and dry season activities in the affected states.
The director reiterated the commitments of the fund to execute viable projects in the areas of education, healthcare, protection and infrastructure development.
All these, he said, would fast-track restoration of peace and sustainable social and economic development of the region.
Alhaji Tijjani Tumsa, Vice Chairman, Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative, lauded VSF over the livelihood and infrastructure development programmes designed to rebuild war-ravaged communities in the North-East.
Tumsa said that the PCNI had adopted pro-active measures to empower youths and women, build resilience, and enhance restoration of peace in the region.
He called on the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the money and engage in productive activities.
Ms Hadiza Ajisoye, one of the beneficiaries, commended the group for its gesture, and said that it would go a long way in improving their social and economic status.