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ICM Humanitarian Conference: UN calls for efforts to end suffering



ICM Humanitarian Conference: UN calls for efforts to end suffering

…… .As the mission wants Nigeria to map humanitarian aid

By Ifeanyi Nwoko

The United Nations has called for concerted efforts to rid Nigeria and the rest of the world of suffering, hunger and poverty as the world marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

UN Under-Secretary-General Amina Mohammed revealed this Thursday in Abuja, while delivering a speech at the Humanitarian Action Conference hosted by InnerCity Mission, an NGO.

It was even then that panelists who attended the event called on religious leaders and wealthy Nigerians to contribute more in humanitarian aid rather than spending on extravagance and the purchase of private jets.

The InneCity mission, founded in 2004 by Reverend Chris Onyakhilome, is a faith-based, child-centered non-governmental organization with a presence in 82 countries around the world that has affected the lives of more than 20 million children.

The mission, which has provided more than 300 million meals for schoolchildren as well as free schools, has also provided humanitarian aid to families of needy children whom they send to school without tuition fees.

The theme of the 2021 conference, the second in the series, is: “Charging new frontiers in humanitarian aid”. The theme emphasized collaboration, ownership and transformation.

Mohammed, whose speech was read by Dr Mike Egboh, said the need for humanitarian assistance and the fight against poverty has become more urgent with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She noted that the pandemic, which revealed serious gaps in socio-economic indices in many countries, had now left the world to walk towards recovery on the path of sustainable development.

She recognized that beyond the pandemic, crises that erupt like the one in Afghanistan and Ethiopia, and the famine that threatens in many parts of the world, more and more women and girls are most threatened by poverty.

Mohammed said that while the pandemic has exposed social inequalities, it has also taught us important lessons that we must strive to adhere to.

“It also exposed the deep inequalities that afflict indigenous peoples, especially women and girls.

“The pandemic has taught us important lessons: better social protection, universal health care, vaccine equity, effective governance and strong institutions would have saved lives.

“This call for six important actions: we must ensure that the experiences and priorities of women remain at the heart of humanitarian action, we must ensure that women are involved in humanitarian decision-making,” he said. she declared.

She stressed the need to bring women’s organizations and leaders to the table.

“We need to fund women’s and local organizations so that they can truly empower and support communities in crisis. In many countries, women’s groups are actively engaged in implementing the humanitarian, development and peace nexus, making these efforts more sustainable and equitable in the long term.

“We need to better connect development and humanitarian work to achieve the ambition of the SDGs and for countries facing a growing number of crises and a climate emergency to own the pathways to the SDGs.

“So the sixth call to action is to work with governments to mobilize and align a wide range of funding sources – public and private, national and international – to help these governments rebuild better.

“This is our decade of ambitious action to achieve the SDGs. Our collective action to empower marginalized people, including women and girls – Let’s all work together to end the suffering, ”she said.

In his remarks, InnerCity Mission Board Chairman Reverend Tom Amekhene recounted how the NGO has struggled to reach vulnerable Nigerians during the pandemic.

He said the mission focused on hard-to-reach communities, caring for vulnerable children, families and communities, providing food relief, health care, emergency education, as well as a psychological support.

“The question now is What Next? – No better time than now to deliberate on the theme of this year’s conference.

“Now is the time to map the current humanitarian aid landscape in Nigeria and beyond; time to plan a course for a better future.

We currently have our humanitarian footprints in 82 countries. In Nigeria, us, ”he said.

A member of the National Assembly, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, welcomed the initiative, stressing that he was exceptionally happy that it was a Nigerian initiative.

Oloriegbe, who used to volunteer for mission activities, assured that he would take concrete steps to contribute to the work of the NGO.

He said there are many wealthy Nigerians who are not contributing humanitarian aid, urging all Nigerians to contribute in their own way to help vulnerable people.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of 11 children, some of whom were chosen as abandoned babies; they were helped, fed and educated by the mission and they were now in university education.

In her welcoming speech, the conference coordinator, Ms. Omoh Alabi, said that the conference aims to mobilize key actors in the humanitarian sphere to take action to end poverty in all its forms.

“Our goals for this year are to discuss the issues, challenges and lessons learned in eradicating poverty, especially among women and children.

“This conference will encourage us to provide a safe space to foster and promote peer-to-peer collaboration among humanitarian actors.

“Ultimately, the reason we’re here is to ensure that adequate humanitarian assistance reaches those who need it most,” she said.

The President of the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA), Ms. Salamatu Yahaya Farouk, also insisted on the need for collaboration between humanitarian aid organizations to record more milestones.

Ms Farouk, who is also the wife of the army chief of staff, said that NAOWA, being also a humanitarian organization, was willing to collaborate with the InnerCity mission.

She stressed that security guards were most affected by the continuing insecurity, with many dying, others injured, while some lost limbs and sometimes became disabled.

While stressing that there was a lot to be done to help injured soldiers, she pledged to sow in the work of the mission.

Source: NAN

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