World Humanitarian Day: Minister restates commitment to protect aid workers

Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq

Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development says the Ministry will always do everything possible to protect humanitarian workers in Nigeria.

Farouq made this known during a joint news conference with partners to celebrate World Humanitarian Day and one year commemoration of the establishment of the Ministry on Tuesday in Abuja.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Real Life Heroes”

She said that it had been a challenging year.

“In spite of the challenges, the Ministry was able to provide relief and mitigated disasters across the country.

“The wisdom of President Muhammadu Buhari to create the Ministry placed Nigeria on the global map of responding to disasters and unforeseen humanitarian crisis.

“As we mark Wold Humanitarian Day, let us remember the real life heroes.

“I want to assure the humanitarian community that the ministry is poised to do everything possible to see to the protection of humanitarian workers in the country.

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“Their protection is our priority. We have held meetings and workshop with security agencies to ensure their safety.

“We are also working on a policy document that will ensure their protection.

“We have gained new insights and what we can do. We also want to thank our partners like EU, UN, ECOWAS, USAID and many others for their commitment to humanitarian crisis in the country,” she said.

Earlier, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallo, said the Ministry had done a lot within one year of its existence.

Kallon, who was represented by Mr Trond Jensen, Head, Office of Humanitarian Affairs, said World Humanitarian Day was an opportunity for member states to renew their commitment to humanitarian activities.

“We salute all those that are putting their lives on the line for the sake of humanity, especially those in the Northeast region of the country and those on front line of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

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Similarly, Mr Franz Celetine, Head of International Organisation for Migrations, said the creation of the Ministry was timely.

According to him, it is worthy to use the World Humanitarian Day to celebrate the sacrifice made by heroes who put their lives on the line to make miracle happen for the poor and vulnerable.

He called on stakeholders to ensure that humanitarian workers are encouraged and motivated.

Meanwhile, Ms Chansa Kapaya, the UNHCR Resident Representative in Nigeria said it had been 11 years since the UN set aside the day to say thank you to humanitarian workers.

“The COVID-19 is making things difficult for all of us to provide for those in need, but we shall be strong enough to stand and do the needful,” she said.

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Mr Alonzo Amaechi, from ECOWAS Commission for Humanitarian Affairs, said the Commission would continue to remember and honour all aid workers.

Mr Basheer Mohammed, Federal Commissioner for National Commission for Refugees, Migraines and International Displaced Persons, said regardless of the challenges, they are resilient in ensuring that the vulnerable groups are attended to.

Speaking in same vein, Mrs Julie Okah, Director-General of NAPTIP said the agency would continue to ensure that victims and vulnerable Nigerians are repatriated and reintegrated into the society.

Alhaji Muhammadu Mohammed, Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency, said the Agency would continue to support humanitarian workers across the country.

Muhammad appreciated the Ministry and its partners for their support to the Agency.

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