By Akpandem James, Special Adviser (Media) to the Minister of Budget and National Planning
The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja launched the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan and the 2019 – 2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy for the development of the North East Region of Nigeria.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who launched the Plan, said it is a product of a collaborative effort between the Government of Nigeria and the country’s Development Partners; and it aims at ameliorating the sufferings of the people of the North-East caused by an insurgency that has resulted in widespread humanitarian crisis.
The launching was carried out during the Ministerial Meeting on Protection in the Lake Chad Basin and the Humanitarian Response Strategy for the North East which entered its second day on Tuesday. It was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the countries in the Lake Chad Basin – Cameroon, Chad and Niger; UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel Region; representatives of United Nations Agencies in Nigeria; members of the Diplomatic community; some members of the Federal Executive Council; Representatives of the affected States of the North East Region; the World Bank and other development partners.
Senator Udoma told the gathering that the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) is part of a three-year strategy (2019 – 2021) evolved through a multi-stakeholder approach under the coordination of his Ministry in collaboration with donors, to address the needs and challenges of the affected people of the North East Region.
“The 2019 HRP, which is the third in Nigeria, was developed in close consultation with the Governments of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states and was presented for validation to the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on the North-East made up of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as Donors/ Development Partners and Coalition of International Non-Government Organizations (INGOs)”, he explained.
The Minister said the objective of the Humanitarian Response Strategy is to provide timely and integrated multi-sector assistance and protection interventions to the most vulnerable. It is aimed at improving access by the communities and people of the North East to humanitarian assistance.
The plan, he stated, has been endorsed by the High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region (Oslo II), which took place in Berlin on September 3 and 4, 2018 which was co-hosted by Nigeria, Germany, Norway and the United Nations; during which stakeholders working on humanitarian assistance, crisis prevention, stabilization, and development, came together to identify shared challenges and opportunities.
At the 2018 meeting, an agreement was reached to continue collaborating through a multi-year approach towards addressing the needs and challenges of the Lake Chad Region in a sustainable manner.
The Government of Nigeria, he explained, aims to provide sustainable solutions to those displaced by the insurgency. “As we succeed in ameliorating the plight of the people, the Plan envisages that more resources will be deployed to increase investments in infrastructure and other facilities so as to also address the other development challenges of the North East. This framework is called the Multi-year Humanitarian, Development, and Peace Nexus Plan, which will take effect from 2019, and which supports the 2019 HRP.
“We have worked to ensure synergy between the two plans. We have also ensured that these two Plans are aligned and consistent with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which is the fundamental economic blueprint of the Buhari Administration”, the Minister explained.
He therefore called on all stakeholders in the implementation of the Plans to ensure that all the milestones are achieved. “With early achievements of these milestones, we will gradually be able to refocus the resources being deployed from humanitarian activities to more general developmental projects. All this will help to restore prosperity to the North-East – which is our overall aim,” he pointed out.