Buhari Highlights Dangerous ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ In Nigeria, Donates $3m To AU Agency

President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed to the African Union that Nigeria is also facing humanitarian crisis as witnessed in other countries within the continent.

The president pledged $3 million for the takeoff of the African Union Humanitarian Agency, established to address several problems across the continent.

He spoke during the 16th African Union Extra-ordinary Session of Assembly of Heads of State and Government on Humanitarian Crises in African and Pledging Conference, which held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on Friday.

Revealing the crisis bedeviling Nigeria, Buhari highlighted terrorism, herders and farmers clashes among others, saying it has resulted in the displacement of many Nigerians.

He explained that out of over 5 million internally displaced persons in the Lake Chad region alone , about 70 percent of them are estimated to be from Nigeria “and so, we cannot deny the fact that we have a very dangerous humanitarian crisis in our hands.”

The president added: “The world is confronted by emerging threats such as climate change resulting in global warming, rising levels of waters, in some climes, shrinking rivers like the Lake Chad. All these lead to destruction in our equatic and consequently our ecological systems.

“Conflict, violent extremism and terrorists’ attacks including herdsmen and farmers clashes and banditry led to the displacement of whole communities, thus rendering thousands of people homeless.

“In the northeast of Nigeria alone, millions of people have been displaced as a result of the climate change which caused the shrinking of Lake Chad and subsequent loss of means of livelihood.

“In addition, the violent onslaught by BokoHaram, insurgence on the people of the region has led to humanitarian crisis in that region of our country.”

He however said that the government is addressing the challenges through the establishment of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

“As a Government, our immediate response was creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in other to develop a national response strategy on the humanitarian crisis confronting us.

“Through the ministry, government established Internally Displaced Persons camps in every part of the country for refugees, returnee migrants and displaced persons, where food, shelter, clothing, medical care and other livelihood support are provided for all displaced persons.

“We also have introduced a Conditional Cash Transfer scheme, whereby a monthly cash transfer is made to the very poor and vulnerable in our society,

“This is in line with the Kampala Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons. I am glad to inform Your Excellencies that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs of Nigeria has continued to live up to its mandate in responding quickly to all situations of displaced persons and disaster management.

“The ministry carries out a compulsory school feeding programme in all primary schools across the country. This is to ensure that every child gets at least one balanced and nutritious meal daily” the President said.

Buhari lauded relevant stakeholders for setting up such a pivotal agency to address the continent’s humanitarian problem.

“The rationale for the establishment of this Agency is to forge a common African position on humanitarian effectiveness and to create an appropriate continental architecture to effectively respond and coordinate humanitarian crises on the continent.

“Nigeria strongly believes in a continental response to the humanitarian crisis and so we are totally committed to the establishment of an African Humanitarian Agency as proposed by the Heads of State in Government in Addis Ababa in 2016,” he said.

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