From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, New York
Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in New York has called for more private sector participation in the humanitarian sector against the backdrop of lingering challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, catastrophic weather events and conflicts.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari made the call at the President spoke at a side event at the 77th UN General Assembly, hosted by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, entitled “Strengthening Resilience and Sustaining Development: A Humanitarian Development Peace Approach to Leaving No One Behind.”
The President also emphasized the importance of effective collaboration among stakeholders involved in humanitarian aid and disaster relief in the country, urging bilateral and multilateral development partners to continue providing technical assistance to well-planned policies and programs in the sector.
President Buhari described the establishment of the Humanitarian Ministry in August 2019 as a strategic intervention that underscored Nigeria’s commitment to consistently strengthen resilience and sustain development through improved coordination and synergy among international, regional, and national humanitarian and development actors, partners, and governments.
He said that in the 37 months of the Ministry’s operations, it has collaborated with national governments, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, the organized private sector, the United Nations, Local and International Non-Governmental Organizations, and security actors to broaden dialogue, strengthen existing capacities, and strengthen coping strategies:
“The Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, its Agencies and Programmes, have developed policies, frameworks, programmes and plans that form the foundation necessary to build resilience.
“Some of these include the Civil Security Cooperation in Humanitarian Action, which created the National Humanitarian Coordination Committee, the development of LIFE Coordination Framework and the National Humanitarian Committee Technical Working Group.
“Other policies, frameworks, programmes and plans that support the agenda 2030 and resilience building of our citizenry are the National Internally Displaced Persons Policy, the Revised National Emergency Management Plan, the National Emergency Flood and Response Plan, the National Policy for Aging for Elderly Persons, the Poverty Reduction Plan, and the revised National Policy on disability, all aimed at supporting our Administration’s strategy to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.”
The Ministry, according to the President, has also led the administration’s efforts to combat poverty and ensure social inclusion through the Social Investment Programmes, which include the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, the N-Power Programme, and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.
He added that Nigeria has also brought to the fore the inclusion of Persons with Disability and elderly persons in the social protection space by the creation of agencies that will lay emphasis on these populations in the country.
The President, therefore, urged the meeting to analyse the shared experiences over the years and devise possible transformational solutions for the future.
In her welcome address, the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, noted that the interconnectedness of today’s world underscores the importance of multilateralism and partnerships.
According to her, “In this regard, we must act in a concerted manner in order to tackle the myriad challenges confronting humankind if we are to achieve Agenda 2030.
“The 2030 Agenda provides us with the framework to eradicate poverty, build peace, foster prosperity, and improve livelihoods in a manner that preserves the environment, protects vulnerable populations and empowers women.”
She also thanked President Buhari for his support since the creation of the Ministry in 2019.
Goodwill messages were delivered by Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum on behalf of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations as well as Development Partners.