The Federal Government on Friday solicited the urgent support of United Nations (UN) agencies in tackling the array of humanitarian crisis that Nigeria faces, which have left hundreds of people homeless, and with out of school children.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Beta Edu stated this at a high level side event of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States.
The minister said as the most populous nation, “Nigeria need as a country, to have that support from the UN at all levels to see that we can meet the needs of our citizens. We also need the support of all the U N agencies that are in the room and those who are operating in Nigeria, even those who are not operating in Nigeria. It’s time for you to put boots on the ground and support Nigeria all the way and we need to do this in a more coordinated and strategic manner.”
Dr. Edu told the gathering which included the United Nations Food Programme (UNFP), Assistant Under Secretary for Climate Change Qatar, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs And Emergency Relief that many families in the country were in desperate need of food support and homes.
“We have families that do not have access to water and sanitation. We have people who do not even have the service of having their daily meals even once a day in Nigeria, and these are real situations on ground,” she noted.
The minister added that “lots of commitment is needed at all level to see that Nigeria is able to overcome its challenges especially as it has to do with persons who are affected by humanitarian crisis, where we have about 16 million registered persons that are affected by humanitarian crisis.
“And suffice to say that this number might actually be doubled because they are persons who are affected but they are not registered and they live within communities and have not come forward for the formal registration. So we might be dealing with close to 35 million persons that are directly or indirectly affected by humanitarian crisis.
“The President has approved the Presidential humanitarian and poverty alleviation Trust Fund for Nigeria, and this will have several governing caders with a structure that will show accountability and transparency.
“30 percent of the fundings expected in this trust fund will be coming from the Government of Nigeria, and is expected that the rest of this funding come from other nations, the United Nations, donor agencies, philanthropic individuals, private sector, who we want to bring fully into the space amongst other forms of innovative fundraising,” the minister said.
Speaking at the event, the National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu said that the country needs coordinated efforts to address the poverty crisis that has resulted from insecurity especially in the north east region.
He noted that the security sector was already taking pragmatic steps to support the federal government in its drive to tackle the challenge.