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UNGA77: Nigeria moving from humanitarian relief to empowering vulnerable population – Minister

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

By Cecilia Ologunagba

New York, Sept. 27, 2022

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq says Nigeria is moving from just giving humanitarian relief to its vulnerable population to empowering them with skills.

Farouq told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York at the 77th session of UN General Assembly that the Nigerian Government was working to build the resilience of the population.

The minister spoke on the sidelines of High-Level Side Event on “Strengthening Resilience and Sustaining Development: A Humanitarian Development Peace Approach to Leaving No one Behind.’’

“We are shifting away from just giving humanitarian relief to see how we can build the resilience of our people and empower them.

“We are moving towards a sustainable way of building the lives of the vulnerable people, those who have been affected by displacement to have a dignified way of life by empowering them.

“We have provided for them different empowerment opportunities for them to learn different skills, to earn a living with those skills and for their prosperity,’’ she said.

According to her, empowering the vulnerable population is a right step to reduce poverty, noting that Nigeria has done well under the present administration to reduce poverty index.

The minister said that the United Nations (UN) had been working with Nigeria to achieve sustainable development, like eradication of poverty and addressing issues of vulnerability.

Earlier at the event, UN Deputy Secretary General, Ms Amina Mohammed said humanitarian action and lifesaving relief remained critical, saying, “we must recognise that protracted crises require a synchronised and complementary development and peace support.

“This must be supported by long term investments to address the drivers and the root causes of crises in the first place, and the ensuing fragility.

“This is at the core of the humanitarian development peace nexus approach. We know that investing in development is the best way to prevent the crisis in the first place.

“This is where I would like to commend the Government of Nigeria for now, practically in its adoption of the triple nexus approach, particularly in relation to those who have been displaced internally and supported by the creation of enabling frameworks and mechanisms,’’ she said.

The UN deputy chief said the Government of Nigeria also used the triple Nexus approach beyond the issue of finding durable solutions to empowering its displaced population

“For example, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) kickstarted 1.5 million U.S. dollar pilot project to the Nigeria humanitarian fund.’’

According to her, the fund is to address durable solutions, working closely with the governance of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, and the UN under the leadership of UNDP.

She said that UN had helped on the stabilisation programme and restoration of the social contract working with the private sector and resulted in constructing many permanent shelters and classrooms in those states.

“The stabilisation efforts are conducted under the auspices of the Lake Chad Commission’s regional stabilisation strategy, and this is an important cross border coordination and cooperation, which is even more pressing not just in the Lake Chad region, but also in the Sahel.

In her remarks, Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen said women were driving force in disaster risk reduction, and emergency response and therefore should not be left unattended to.

“We see this thing during the public lighting pandemic, where 70 to 80 per cent of health volunteers are women.

“Women were at the forefront front of risk communications and are trusted by their communities,’’ she said.

The General Debates, which started on Sept. 20 with the theme: “Watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges,’’ ended on Monday.

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