Dr. Betta Edu (R), and the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr. Matthias Schmale
The Federal Government of Nigeria, United Nations (UN) agencies and others have resolved to raise $5 billion annually for the Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund in Nigeria.
They made the commitment at the first humanitarian coordination meeting in Nigeria in recent times which featured a heart-to-heart frank discussion at the United Nations House, Abuja on Tuesday as Nigeria’s Minister For Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu engaged Ambassadors, UN agencies, Development Partners, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and others on their commitment to humanitarian crises in Nigeria.
The Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the Minister, Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair, in a press release, said the meeting, which was at the instance of the Minister, brought all the humanitarian responders in Nigeria under one roof and they also made commitments to a durable, smart and coordinated approach to humanitarian response.
The hosting of the African Humanitarian summit, which is a follow-up to the World Humanitarian Summit of Istanbul in 2016, joint field assessment by government and partners, is a quarterly humanitarian coordination meetings and Nigerian humanitarian report, a creation of the Nigeria Humanitarian Dashboard amongst others.
Edu conveyed President Bola Tinubu’s appreciation to UN agencies and development partners for their immense contributions to easing humanitarian challenges in Nigeria but however, stressed that the era of uncoordinated, unaccountable, and silotic approaches to humanitarian response in Nigeria was over.
She said, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu does appreciate the efforts of the UN agencies as well as other organizations that are working in the humanitarian space but we just need to bring this efforts in a more coordinated manner so that we can achieve more, especially in the face of dwindling resources.
Dignitaries at the meeting
“There is a need for the government to take the lead and properly coordinate. The days of uncoordinated responses to the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria should be over”.
The Minister pointed out that”the days of operating in silos and duplicating efforts that lead to wastage amongst other things should be over. The government must take the lead to coordinate, to ensure that we are first in line with government priorities, and secondly, we are meeting our targets. Plan with the government, implement with the governmentband let’s get the right results in the right direction.
“Government will follow up. The government will be proactive, and the government will monitor because we want to see results. As I told you, We signed a bond, so that bond, we will deliver on it together as a team. Yes, we will”.
She emphasized the federal government’s commitment to reduce, prevent, mitigate and respond adequately to the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria in a more coordinated manner, thereby reducing poverty by 50 percent.
On his part, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr. Matthias Schmale who spoke on behalf of UN agencies expressed absolute support to the government of Nigeria in its effort to tackle humanitarian challenges facing the country and commended Dr. Edu for providing dynamic leadership in that regard.
“We have heard very clearly from you, honorable Minister, that humanitarian needs of course span the rest of the country. We are here as United Nations Agencies to support in ensuring proper coordination, develop review and implementation response plans, mobilize resources for a country response as well as align to Federal Government priorities”, he said.
The UN chief was optimistic that the “Renewed Hope Agenda of the government is leading the way forward in terms of Nigeria being able to deliver on the Short-term Development Goals (SDGs), and address humanitarian needs”
The Ambassador of Malaysia, Norway and the United Arab Emirates, amongst other Ambassadors present, equally made committed to supporting Nigeria in a more strategic way to address humanitarian crises.