Officials from North-East Nigeria learn from Japan’s recovery experience

December 19, 2019

Nigeria state officials visit the memorial monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima city located at the site of atomic bomb explosion during World War II. (Photo: International Hospitality and Conference Service Association)

Delivery of people centered interventions that are driven by robust policies and strategies are critical to bridging the humanitarian - development gaps. Recently, UNDP and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) facilitated a learning mission for State Governments officials from North-East Nigeria to Japan. The three officials visited a number of sites in Tokyo and Hiroshima and engaged in experience sharing activities with the host country.

During the two-week mission to Japan, the officials from Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states learned from the Japan’s experience of recovery through various engagements and tours of sites related to recovery organised by JICA, which has long experiences of training of Government officials from various countries visiting Japan.

The officials also visited the memorial monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima city located at the site of atomic bomb explosion during World War II where they learnt about how Hiroshima city managed its recovery process after the indescribable damage. This was an opportunity to learn and see how some of the experiences can be contextualised for the recovery process in the North-East, following the protracted conflict in the region.

Some of the key lessons for the Nigeria officials from their interactions during the mission included appreciation of the need for local ownership and leadership in the recovery process, importance of local participation in the provision of local governance services and need to develop and implement medium-term and long-term strategies for recovery. On return back home, it is expected that the officials will each share the lessons learnt to their fellow government officials and reflect on some of the best practices observed and contextualising the same into their own strategies for the recovery.

The conflict in North-East Nigeria has adversely affected communities, with about 1.7 million people still living as internally displaced persons (IDPs). To support stabilization and early recovery efforts, UNDP is implementing interventions in partnership with the Government of Japan and other partners like the European Union, the governments of Canada, Germany, Norway, and the United States, among others.

UNDP’s interventions in the region supports three thematic areas; stabilization, early recovery and peacebuilding. The support for early recovery includes capacity building of national governance institutions including the state governments, for which purpose the study mission was organized. As the lead agency in providing early recovery and livelihood support in North-East, UNDP will continue implementing interventions with support from and stronger partnership with State Governments, the Government of Japan and JICA.