Over 33,000 poor and vulnerable households have received unconditional cash support at the successful closeout of the Mercy Corps, European Union (EU) funded Building Resilience in Complex Crisis (BRICC) Programme.
The programme was implemented in 30 communities across six local government areas (LGAs) of Damaturu, Potiskum, Geidam, Gulani, Yunusari, and Gujba, with the objective to increase the ability of households to cope with the joint shock of conflict, climate change and complex crisis, by Mercy Corps, EU and other partners.
Speaking on the success of the programme, BRICC program director, Freeman Muleya, noted that aside the 33,000 participatant that received cash supports, 281 saving groups were established In addition to 9,000 smallholder, while farmers were trained and supported on climate-smart agriculture, with about 6000 youths amongst whom received vocational and entrepreneurship skills training, and cash grants to start up new and expand existing businesses.
On his part, Mercy Corps Nigeria Country director, Ndubisi Anyanwu, said: “One of the laudable impacts of the project was the support to Yobe in the development of its social protection policy. “Social protection is one of the core pillars for recovery. It provides a guideline for how the government can address the basic needs of its vulnerable dependents.
“With this policy, key interventions in health, food security, education, economic empowerment, and financial support can be implemented by the state, with support from partners.”
One of the participants and beneficiary, Bukar Maidugu, said, “I was staying in Damaturu before I retired to Murfa. Since I have been staying there for five years, I haven’t been able to buy a fowl, with BRICC support, I now have a livestock business and my wife’s business is running”.
Another participant, 50-year old Mallum Bukur, said, “Since I started the savings and investment association, I have gone into business and now sell seeds. I and other women also bought a cow to rear.”
The EU, Mercy Corps and other partners called on the Yobe State government to sustain and continue to build on the impact made by the BRICC programme in the state. They said “The European Union’s goal for the sustainability of intervention projects is that government institutions are strengthened to continue to deliver life-changing interventions such as those implemented by BRICC.
“The EU will continue to work with the governments and other partners to address the challenges faced by the people who have been affected by the insurgency in the North-East. The successes recorded by this programme are an example of what we can achieve by working together. It is our hope that by building on these achievements, the government of Yobe State will scale up and sustain these laudable programmes for the betterment of the people of the state.”