Olaleye Aluko, Abuja
As primary schools in the Dalori and Bama Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Borno State resumed academic activities, the Nigerian Air Force announced that it would feed over 1,000 pupils daily in both camps.
Our correspondent learnt that the NAF has provided about 372,000 meals to the schools as part of its feeding programme.
It was also gathered that the feeding programme was funded through donations from private companies and voluntary cash contributions by NAF personnel, as instituted by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubabakar.
Attendance at the Dalori and Bama IDPs schools has reportedly increased by 50 per cent since the feeding programme started in 2015.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice-Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, said the school feeding initiative was part of the military’s humanitarian efforts, targeted at “winning the hearts and minds of members of the communities affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.”
Adesanya said, “As academic work started in the schools, the NAF has also resumed the daily feeding of over 1,000 school pupils in the two camps. This part of the commitment of the Chief of the Air Staff towards addressing the welfare challenges among children in the IDPs camps.
“The introduction of free feeding for the IDPs schoolchildren is part of the resolve to bring succour to Nigerians who had been displaced by insurgency. Also, a Level 2 hospital was established in the Dalori IDPs camp in 2015 and another emergency hospital was established in Bama IDPs camp in 2016 to meet the healthcare needs of IDPs.
“It was in the process of providing health care at the NAF hospital in Dalori IDPs Camp in 2015 that the acute problem of malnutrition among the children was observed.
Accordingly, in order to prevent a serious medical crisis, the NAF Medical Services Branch immediately commenced the feeding of children within the camp and later transferred the feeding programme to the schools.”
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