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World Humanitarian Day: Nigeria sets-up committee on safety of aid workers

World Humanitarian Day: Nigeria sets-up committee on safety of aid workers
World Humanitarian Day: Nigeria sets-up committee on safety of aid workers

By Our Reporter

August 20, 2020 - The government of Nigeria has set up a National humanitarian coordination committee to deliberate on issues of humanitarian workers and their safety.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management And Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq disclosed this at an event to commemorate the 2020 World Humanitarian Day celebration.

She said that the Nigeria was working on a framework to address all issues as it affects safety and protection of humanitarian workers, especially in view of recent killing of aid workers across the world.

Farouq whose ministry was also celebrating the first year anniversary of its creation, paid glowing tribute to aid workers who have lost their lives in service to humanity, describing them as heroes.

The 2020 celebration is specifically meant to celebrate and acknowledge humanitarian workers who are the #RealLifeHeroes.

Speaking further, the minister noted the importance of the ministry which she said had helped Nigeria to better handle the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on the vulnerable.

“In Nigeria, this day provides an opportunity for sober reflection on the humanitarian challenges in the country and also to acknowledge and celebrate those who put themselves at risk or may have lost their lives in service to others.

“The uniqueness of this year’s WHD is reflected in the global theme “RealLifeHeroes” and in Nigeria it coincides with the activities marking the first anniversary of the creation of the Ministry.

“On Thursday August 21st, 2020, the ministry will officially be a year old. It has been an eventful, interesting and challenging year, and despite the often demanding situations; the Ministry and its Agencies have provided humanitarian interventions and proactively developed structures to prevent and mitigate disaster.

"All, while building socio-economic resilience through the evolution of inclusive social safety net programmes.

“The visionary leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari in creating the Ministry, placed Nigeria in an advantageous position to tackle the challenges and vulnerabilities that emerged due to the COVID – 19 Pandemic,” she said.

The minister noted that the pandemic created humanitarian needs, and tested the capacity of Nigeria and indeed, the entire world, to respond to disasters.

According to her, the resilience of Nigeria lay in the lessons learnt from the strategies collectively deployed in response to the pandemic, especially, as it concerns providing for the vulnerable which included the elderly, the children, the disabled, and the persons of concern.

“We have gained new insights and emerged with fresh perspectives regarding what works and what doesn’t.

“Despite the vulnerabilities we have faced as a young Ministry, we remain resolute in our commitment to fulfil our mandate which has informed the theme of our Anniversary – Service to humanity.

“As we commemorate this milestone, I express my appreciation to HE Muhammadu Buhari for finding me worthy of service to lead this unique Ministry.

“I also use this opportunity to commend my Colleagues in the Presidential Task Force on Covid - 19 and acknowledge all the health sector and humanitarian personnel in the frontlines of the battle against Covid-19.

“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,” she said.

The minister thanked members of staff of the ministry for their support and paid tribute to those who had lost their lives in the service to humanity.

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