Niger State – Victims Support Fund (VSF) Extends Support to 3,000 Households
In an effort to provide crucial support to victims of terrorism and banditry, the Victims Support Fund (VSF) has flagged off her VSF 2023 to 2025 Program Strategy in Niger State. Within the Livelihood and Recovery Support thematic area, VSF is extending help to 3,000 indigent households by providing essential food items such as rice, beans, groundnut oil, sugar, salt, and seasoning cubes.
Lt. Gen. T.Y Danjuma (Rtd), Chairman of the Victims Support Fund represented by Hajiya Saudatu Mahdi, the VSF Strategy Management Committee State Lead of Niger State in her opening remarks reiterated that the VSF initially began its activities in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States due to the severe impact of insurgency in those regions. However, today, the Federal Government has defined banditry as an act of terrorism therefore, allowing VSF to expand its scope to other parts of the country, especially the North West and North Central regions affected by terrorist and banditry attacks. The frontline states that were recognized after a rigorous mapping was Katsina, Niger, Benue, Plateau, and Kaduna States.
“We are going to these states because people have been uprooted, people who have no understanding as to why they are victims of terrorism, and we are here to solidly stand beside and work with the State Government and Civil Society Organizations to help them understand what they are into and how to better their lives.” She said.
She urged the Niger State Government to organize the victims into cooperative societies to provide them with additional support for rebuilding their livelihoods to become self-reliant and become active members of the societies. She also emphasized the need to implement peacebuilding initiatives as well as psychosocial support.
Professor Nana Tanko, the Executive Director of VSF, shared her vision to build community resilience and support them with early recovery. “The Victims Support Fund is working in different strategic areas. The first is in Education Support. We are empowering children to continue their education and teacher development. The Second is Psychosocial Support to help individuals who are traumatized by these events. The third is Livelihood and Recovery, this area will support farmers, offer skills acquisition, and implement life support programs, among other initiatives. “
Niger State Governor, H.E Mohammed Umaru Bago, represented by the Deputy Governor Comrade Yakubu Garba expressed his appreciation to the VSF. “I wish to appreciate the Victims Support Fund for being a worthy partner in bridging the gap of support for the weak and vulnerable particularly the victims of terrorism and other forms of vices in Niger State.”. He added that the gesture to donate food items to 3000 households will not be forgotten for a long time and he called on other compassionate Nigerians to emulate the VSF by contributing their quota and supporting VSF’s humanitarian efforts by extending assistance to victims of disasters such as floods and diseases.
The Local Government Areas where the food distribution will occur are:
• Shiroro (1,000 households)
• Lapai (1,000 households)
• Kontagora (1,000 households)
The Victims Support Fund continues to diligently work towards providing relief to victims of insurgency and armed conflict in Nigeria, particularly in the key areas of Peacebuilding and Citizenship Support, Livelihood and Recovery Support, Protection and Psychosocial Support, and Education Support.