VSF is committed to ensuring the participation of stakeholders in its activities and project decision-making processes. This is as a means of ensuring that the interests, priorities and concerns of stakeholders are adequately addressed for quality project delivery. VSF is also committed to promoting sustainability and efforts that will aid in goal setting, implementation of action plans, and improved performance in all its interventions. This made it imperative to hold the stakeholders Forum to adequately consult and engage with key stakeholders for improved programme implementation.
Coming out of the Stakeholders Forum, some of the most salient issues identified by the Stakeholders include;
- Economic Devastation: the major source of income and livelihood of most families and individuals have been destroyed and many people displaced from their original area of abode.
- Security: Although communities have been recaptured, the security situation in the Northeast states is still uncertain. This has also slowed down the rate of return.
- Poverty: Prior to the insurgency, poverty had been a major problem in majority of the communities. The effects of the insurgency further worsened the situation thereby increasing the already high rate of poverty.
- Shelter: Many homes destroyed or damaged this has slowed return as some people cannot because they have no roof over their heads.
- Unemployed Youths: The youths were identified as soft targets for the insurgents, and as they remain idle, they can still be recruited by insurgent groups.
- Education: The effects of the insurgency greatly increased the educational problems of Northeast region which was hitherto considered to be educationally backward prior to the onset of the insurgency. The key issues identified for immediate attention are; renovation and reconstruction of schools, equipping and furnishing of classrooms, provision of adequate educational materials including textbooks, recruitment of more teachers, teacher development and training, replacement of burnt certificates, teacher motivation and incentives, the introduction of school feeding programme to primary schools and Community sensitization participation and support.
- Health Care: Many communities do not have access to medical services and numerous health facilities have been destroyed. The insurgency has also reduced the number of trained medical personnel as some of the relocated to other states when the insurgency was at its peak. Additionally, there is a dearth of water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities.
- High Number of widows and orphans.
The Stakeholders acknowledged that VSF and other donor agencies have worked hard at addressing these immediate and key areas of concern however they would like to see much more and better coordination among actors in the Northeast. It was also emphasised that in order for interventions to succeed and reach the target beneficiaries, community participation and adequate monitoring and evaluation is required.