by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
It has been observed that, rural resilience, which focuses on economic activities, must be seen to trickle down to human capacity building in the area of high quality nutrition, education and infrastructure that will catapult the people towards realising their potentials.
In order to realize this goal, Gombe state governor, Inuwa Yahaya, has expressed his administration’s commitment to enhancing human capital development for self-sustainability through close partnership and collaboration with relevant organizations.
The governor disclosed this when he played host to Country Director of Mercy Corps, which is a USAID-funded international humanitarian organisation that supports market actors, with specific attention to youths and women.
Governor Yahaya made his intention known, while expressing delight over the decision of Mercy Corps to commence the implementation of the Rural Resilience Activity project in the northeast with Gombe serving as its zonal headquarters.
According to him, the Mercy Corps could not have come at a better time than now when the world is faced with the novel coronavirus pandemic, stressing that the state will need the technical support of the organisation to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus and strengthen its safety net.
He also assured the organisation of safety and security of its staff and facilities, while noting that, in spite of the challenges facing the Northeast, the government of Gombe State has been able to maintain peace largely to the understanding and security consciousness of the people.
The governor also said, due to the environmental limitations of the Gombe, the state needs all the partnerships it can get to restore land degradation and vegetation so that plants and animals can produce optimally.
He stressed that, “Unless we can provide space for people to produce – and produce economically – the rest of the social activities that go through either commercial in terms of trading or value chain utilisation in processing, marketing and distribution may not be possible.”
The governor, however, assured that his administration will partner with Mercy Corps and it’s ready to sign a memorandum of understanding on activities that are tailored towards the good of the people.
Speaking earlier, the Country Director of Mercy Corps, Ndubuisi Anyanwu, said, his organisation is a leading humanitarian agency that is working in forty countries of the world to address the devastating impacts of conflicts and fragility.
He narrated that, since 2012, Mercy Corps has been working in Nigeria in many of the difficult regions to strengthen resilience and promote development, particularly in the northeast.
The Country Director explained that, from his short experience with the government and people of Gombe, the state is a prime candidate for collaboration that is people-oriented.
Also speaking, Mercy Corps’ Deputy Chief of Party, Farouk Kurawa, said the project in Gombe is about to enjoy a five-year United State Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored project, codenamed ‘Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience.’
He said the project is aimed at facilitating economic recovery and growth in vulnerable, conflict affected areas by promoting systemic change in market systems.
According to him, the activity that would be carried out in the northeast will lift over 90,000 households from poverty – with Gombe, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe as beneficiaries.