The Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Daniel Bertrand, has said that the Belgian government supports the federal government with £5 million annually, to tackle the humanitarian crisis in the North-East.
The Ambassador made this known on Wednesday in Abuja, when he visited the Managing Director of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Mr. Mohammed Alkali.
Betrand said the purpose of the visit was to know better what the commission is doing and the challenges being faced and how the Belgian government can be of help.
According to him, “Belgium is deeply involved in humanitarian assistance in the North-Eastern part of the country. I personally visited Borno State twice and I wanted to better know the organization and to know what we can do together. Belgium has a strong interest in developing its bilateral relations with Nigeria – Business, commerce, human relationship.
Betrand further pointed out that what is happening in the Sahel region has a great impact on Nigeria, especially in the North-East and vice versa.
“We are very active and we are at the disposal of the Nigerian authority to do better. We are supporting the Nigerian government financially in terms of humanitarian support.”
When asked how much the Belgian government has given Nigeria in tackling the humanitarian crisis in the North-East, Bertrand added, “I think it is more or less £5 million a year.”
Also, Alkali said the visit of the ambassador was a sign that the commission was ready to work with all the partners, either in humanitarian or development towards having peace in the North-East.
He said by the end of this quarter, the commission would formally launch its masterplan for development of the North-East.
Alkali said: “Peace is returning, but we still have the hangover of the humanitarian crisis. When it started, people were in camps, but now that they are going back to their homes, they are definitely going to meet another crisis in terms of how to settle down.
“In that case, we hope the Belgian government will continue its humanitarian support to us,” he added.
Insurgency: We support Nigeria with £5m annually to tackle humanitarian crisis – Belgian govt