Restoring dignity and integrity of Nigeria schoolgirls "instrumental"

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Rati Ndhlovu. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Restoring the dignity and integrity of returning Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants is instrumental in reintegrating the girls back into society, a senior United Nations official said.

Rati Ndhlovu, the representative of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Nigeria was speaking to the press in New York on Tuesday.

Some 200 girls were abducted by Boko Haram militants as they attended school on 14 April.

Despite efforts by the Nigerian Government and international outcry, most of the girls remain missing.

Ms Ndhlovu deplored what she called "the double tragedy" suffered by those who managed to escape their captors.

"Some of the escaped girls who ran away, the Chibok girls who ran away, the Chibok girls, were actually raped on their way as they ran away from the insurgents. They met some lone men who then raped them and dumped them. So, double tragedy. It is been really a sad story for them."

In the meantime, UNFPA and its partner agencies on the ground, are preparing the girls' return by setting up clinics and providing health screening for those who come back.

UNFPA has distributed much-needed essentials including "dignity kits" that include sanitary napkins.

The UN agency is also mainstreaming family planning into the humanitarian response by educating the girls about healthy timing of pregnancies.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’32″

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