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Our service to humanity – Sadiya Farouk

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development marked one year in office on Friday August 21, 2020. The multitasking Ministry was established by President Muhammadu Buhari to cushion the effects of hardship following prevailing humanitarian situations and social challenges in the country.

According to President Buhari, the Ministry was established to institutionalize government’s efforts towards social inclusion and response to disasters and humanitarian crisis while providing the much-needed coordination of Humanitarian interventions. Consequently, the Ministry was mandated to develop humanitarian policies and provide effective coordination of National and International humanitarian interventions, while ensuring strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness and response. The Ministry is also charged with the responsibility of managing the formulation and implementation of fair focused social inclusion and protection programmes in Nigeria.

The first one year has been an eventful, challenging and rewarding journey. Challenging because the Ministry is saddled with the responsibility of overseeing responsibilities that were hitherto domiciled in other MDAs and also providing the much-needed coordination of humanitarian interventions in Nigeria. On the other hand, it has been rewarding because when we visit the field and see beneficiaries whose lives are being changed by the federal government humanitarian interventions, it leaves us with a sense of fulfilment that we are doing something worthwhile for humanity. OUR PARTNERS “A number of Agencies were brought under the supervision of the Ministry including NCFRMI, NEMA, NAPTIP, NEDC, SDG and N-SIP. The Ministry is leveraging on the experience and capacity of these Agencies in carrying certain functions, while providing leadership and coordination. “In spite of seemingly daunting and often demanding situations, the Ministry and its Agencies have provided humanitarian interventions and proactively developed structures to prevent and mitigate disaster, while building socio-economic resilience through the evolution of inclusive social safety net programmes. A special commendation goes to our partners in the humanitarian sector; UNOCHA, World Bank, World Food Programme, UNICEF, DFID, USAID and the EU, as well as many other local and international partners who continue to provide humanitarian assistance at great personal cost. We thank the Armed Forces, particularly the Army and Airforce who continue to provide tremendous support to the Ministry. TRAINING Our Ministry started with the incorporation of core human values, such as Trust, Integrity, and Teamwork. In realization of the fact that the human resource of any organization is the most valuable asset it has, the Ministry started with a retreat/training of all staff which held at the UN House with the support of the United Nations. Very early in our history, October 17th 2019, we marked the World Poverty Day by a road walk tagged “Walk OUT Poverty” and a community outreach at Barwa Community, Abuja. Thereafter, the Ministry facilitated the Construction of a clinic and borehole at Barwa Community through the Community Social Development Project (CSDP). We also held the first ever Civil Security Cooperation Workshop (CISEC) which gave birth to the Civil Security Coordination Framework and other structures that will guide the humanitarian activities in the country. One of the structures that came out of the now established humanitarian action framework and guidelines is the National Humanitarian Coordination Committee which was inaugurated by Mr. President on the 19th of March, 2020 to ensure the smooth conduct of all humanitarian activities in the country. Other structures include the Humanitarian Policy Dialogue Forum which was established to provide a forum for interaction between the Ministry and all CSO’s and NGOs to review all government policies and humanitarian activities. We are also working on a Humanitarian assistance help desk to provide a feedback/complaint mechanism for humanitarian actors to report and resolve challenges that impede humanitarian activities in Nigeria. The helpdesk is a critical tool for the Nigerian Government to ensure that people who need humanitarian assistance receive it and the assistance is provided in line with international standards and the laws of Nigeria. SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMMES We have successfully continued to improve on the already existing Social Investor Programmes that were moved to the Ministry. I must thank His Excellency Vice President Yemi Osinbajo under whose watch the Social Investment Programmes were conceived and developed. The N- Power programme has impacted significantly on the lives of Nigerians by addressing unemployment and improving the livelihood of a critical mass of young unemployed Nigerians. As at the last count, about 109,823 beneficiaries from Batches A & B have gone on to set up businesses in their communities, underlining and highlighting the impact and importance of the N-Power programme. We have successfully exited the 500,00 Batches A and B beneficiaries and closed registration for Batch C with a total of 5,042,001 registrations received. As we move to the selection stage, the Ministry will employ diligence to ensure that only duly qualified applicants are eenrol.

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