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At UNGA77: Humanitarian Affairs ministry showcases social investment programmes

Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development

By Cecilia Ologunagba

New York, Sept. 23, 2022

The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on Friday showcased some of the social investment programmes carried out to tackle poverty and ensure social inclusion in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ministry showcased the interventions at the High-Level event organised on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly in New York.

The event, with the theme “Strengthening Resilience and Sustaining Development: A Humanitarian Development Peace Approach to Leaving No One Behind,” was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari and some top political leaders.

NAN reports that some of social investment programmes showcased were the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, the N-Power Programme and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, among others.

In her remarks, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq. said the humanitarian interventions (programmes) had been tremendously beneficial to Nigerians from all walks of life, especially through the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP).

“The NSIP is delivered through the N-Power, National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, which are anchored on TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni, and the recent Grant for Vulnerable Groups.

“These interventions are intended to ultimately eliminate hunger, build human capital and contribute to lifting a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030, as envisioned by Mr. President,’’ she said.

In addition, the minister said it would be difficult to talk about development without speaking about building human capital as it is a key pathway to restore peace and reduce poverty.

She said the N-Power Programmes through N-Agro, N-Tech, N-Creative, N-Build and N-Skills focuses on teaching youth agricultural, technological, web design and animations and construction work respectively to promote self-reliance.

“We are also empowering women at the grassroot levels through various skills acquisition trainings to ensure women are no longer marginalised economically.

“Youth, women and other vulnerable groups are regularly given empowerment opportunities to build their skills and competencies for them to learn, to earn and to grow,’’ she said.

In his remarks, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Martin Griffiths said Nigeria is a good example of a country with great initiatives.

He said Nigeria had great initiatives and potential for more sustainable solutions for internally displaced people which will allow displaced to get back on their feet.

“The National Policy for Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria, facilitated by the Honorable Minister, is showing the way for the realisation of the rights, dignity and wellbeing of vulnerable populations through durable solutions to internal displacements.

“And while I heard in January from IDPs in Bama and Damasak in Borno State of how dreadful the security situation continues to be, we know that it gives hope.

“It gives hope when local government authorities, community organisations and UN agencies are able to come together and support IDPs in more sustainable manners on education, integration, disability rights and so forth,’’ the UN official said.

According to him, multiple challenges remain, especially when it comes to protecting civilians and many of these initiatives are still at small scale.

“But if we can replicate and adapt these new approaches, we can help chart the way forward,’’ noting that this entails a few steps of two

“First, we need to focus on implementation and results. This involves ensuring international humanitarian and development planning frameworks align with national strategies.

“Second, and crucially, funding needs to be better aligned with common priorities. Almost 10 months into 2022, we have only about 35 per cent covered of our financial requirements to meet urgent humanitarian needs.

“It’s time for us to work with donors – and investors – to break open funding siloes and find more flexible financing solutions.,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Ms Ugochi Daniels, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Deputy Director for Operations said Nigeria is the biggest operation of the organisation on the continent.

According to her, IOM has staff of 1,400, across five offices and nine humanitarian hubs in the Northeast which enables all UN and NGO partners to deliver.

Daniels said following the launch of the National Action Plan, and commitment from the highest levels of Government, ther was clearly an opportunity to advance solutions to conflict and displacement.

“Political willingness is the most important enablers for durable solutions to displacement in fragile contexts. There are a few other key enablers which are needed for locally-led solutions to crisis to work.

“The first is mobilising development financing in support of large community-based peace, recovery and development programmes – such as IOM has done with the KfW or the World Bank in Ukraine and South Sudan.

“Development financing enables government leadership, multi-year timeframes and a stronger integration with national policies and planning frameworks,’’ she said.

The second, IOM official said was catalyzing the role of the private sector to provide economic opportunities to populations residing or returning to crisis affected areas.

“Through the ‘Enterprise Development Fund’ in Iraq, for example, IOM capitalises local businesses to increase their capacity to recruit displaced populations returning to their homes and increase productivity overall.

“Third, we need to ensure the data we collect contributes to the objectives we want to pursue,’’ she said.

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