Minister Betta Edu-Proper Coordination of Humanitarian Responses In Nigeria, will reduce duplication and improve results and ensure accountability.

By Hon

Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair,

  ....As UN Agency Promises 2024 Intervention Funds To Support Humanitarian Trust Fund

The Federal government has reiterated the need for all development partners, including the United Nations agencies providing humanitarian services in Nigeria to be properly coordinated by the government and to make decisions during planning for 2024 based on priorities of Government.

According to the federal government, the era of rendering duplicating humanitarian services and wasting minimal resources in the country was over. We must stop working in silos and pull together to see how we can effectively use the little resources available to solve humanitarian crises in 2024.

Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu stated this when she received in the audience, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), led by the Deputy Director Operations and Advocacy Division in West and Central Africa from UN Headquarters New York at the Ministry's Headquarters in Abuja. 

The Minister said the Nigerian government will henceforth take the lead in humanitarian situation reviews using dashboards and implementation of operations in the country to provide a coordinated response and durable solutions to humanitarian challenges in the country. 

Said Edu: "We need to make joint decisions, Government must be on the driver's seat, we don't want to be informed and communicated but we must plan together and implement together that way we can hold each other accountable for what goes on in the field.

"The era of duplication  of functions and services in the humanitarian space is over. We need to stop working in silo but integrate and coordinate among all the different development partners in Nigeria" 

According to the Minister, in the last cabinet retreat, performance targets were set for all the Ministries,  Departments, and Agencies of Government. We must not fail!

 Dr. Edu disclosed that her Ministry will be organizing quarterly meetings with all the development partners and agencies rendering services in the humanitarian space. This will help with proper planning and coordination of activities on the field.

She explained that there will be a dashboard where the operations of all development partners will be known and seen as well as their impacts on the humanitarian field measured, with a feed back mechanism following proper monitoring and evaluation of programs.

The Minister who commended the efforts of the UN agencies in Nigeria on Humanitarian response, pointed out that after the first meeting, which is coming soon, she will go to field assessment operations with all the development partners to enable them to see things for themselves, this she said, was part of the Renewed Hope Agenda. 

She again called for immediate deployment of humanitarian services to Benue State, saying the situation there needed urgent attention and immediate action.

Earlier, the United Nations  OCHA Deputy  Director Operations and Advocacy Division in West and Central Africa and leader of the delegation, Sofie Gerde Thomie, thanked the Honourable Minister for the work she is doing for Nigerians affected by humanitarian crises.

Sofie told the Minister that they came to appreciate President Tinubu's agenda on humanitarian response and Poverty Alleviation and to further ascertain the humanitarian needs in the Bornu, Adamawa, and Yobe(BAY)States in the Northeast.

"I am here to see the Honourable Minister and to better understand the situation, the latest developments here in Nigeria, and how we work to support the government in addressing humanitarian concerns. 

"We've had very good exchanges on the current humanitarian situation and the developments, in particular in the northeast of Nigeria, and the concerns across Nigeria about the many challenges that the humanitarian actors are faced with as well in the efforts that are made to reach people who need assistance and of protection.

"And we've had very good discussions around how these challenges can be addressed and how we can work together to be even more effective in what we do in a joined-up manner. 

Speaking specifically on Benue, Sofie said, " We had a very good exchange also about Benue and what can be done in the area and potential support that could be provided. “We are, of course, looking at what types of support we can immediately provide to beef up government efforts," She added.

On his part, the  UN OCHA Head of Office in Nigeria, Troud Jensen, explained that the Agency has been providing support to those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Adamawa, Yobe,Borno states. 

Troud noted that despite investing $50 million in nutrition and social services, the IDPs are still in need of humanitarian support.

He stated that OCHA was willing to provide $440 million in 2024 to alleviate the sufferings of those affected by humanitarian crises in the BAY states.

"We will provide humanitarian assistance and support the country to mobilize resources, we have plans in the Northeast in areas of nutrition,  security, climate change, and provision of shelter."

He explained that the agency has mapped out funds to support the Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund with the intervention of extending the support to other parts of Nigeria. 

"This year, we have reached out to 3.4 million people in terms of provision of nutrition,  shelter, and water," he added.

Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair,

Published by Pst Bill Francis Bill Senior Chief Advocate to Hon Dr minister Betta for better Nigeria.

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