Mrs Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, has been nominated as Africa’s Leading Woman for Women Affairs and Social Development Award.
The award was conferred at the on-going 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the largest gathering of World leaders where policy makers, Captains of industries and the business community converge to interact on global challenges and also sign pacts.
The Special Assistant (Technical) to the minister, Mrs Jummai Idonije, in a statement on Thursday, said the nomination was at the Foreign Investment Network Limited (FIN) Business and Investment Forum holding on the wings of the on-going UNGA.
Idonije said the global recognition was due to her immense contribution to women’s development and empowerment in the country.
She added that the civil decoration by FIN was to recognise persons who have made meritorious contributions to their country .
The statement quoted INGO Third Sector Resource, UK, to have described the nomination as “inspite of the daily challenges she faced in combating issues affecting Women and vulnerable people in her country.
“She has remained dogged in her determination to selflessly serve those in distress and ordinary citizens of her country through her laudable initiatives and interventions.
£37.65 million of urgent humanitarian funds from the UK will provide vital assistance in Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Nigeria and Niger; 20 million are projected to need urgent assistance across the region by the end of 2022; the money will help finance two projects for the next year focused on the most vulnerable, including malnourished women and children.
The UK will support around 1 million of the most vulnerable people across the Sahel and Lake Chad basin with food, water and sanitation.
The growing instability and violent extremism throughout the region and the war in Ukraine have exacerbated existing problems of food insecurity and malnutrition.
As things stand, there will be close to 20 million people across the region in need of humanitarian aid by the end of the year.
And the Sahel is facing increased vulnerabilities due to climate change and extreme weather shocks, putting unimaginable pressure on communities, meaning urgent intervention by the international community is now a necessity.
The UK is providing £37.65 million in urgent humanitarian assistance, focused on these areas where conflict, climate change and extreme hunger are causing the most suffering.
Minister for Africa Vicky Ford said: Millions of people across the Sahel and West Africa are suffering from unimaginable hunger and malnutrition.
That is why the UK will step forward with £38m urgent humanitarian funding, reaching the most vulnerable and saving lives across the region.
The number of people facing hunger is at its worst in a decade.
While this UK funding is a necessity, it must be part of a larger international effort.
We call on international partners to enhance our collective support and scale up intervention to stop this humanitarian catastrophe.
£19.9 million will support the Sahel Humanitarian Assistance and Protection Program (SHAPP), a program that has been responding to the most acute needs, including those of displaced and malnourished women and children, and enables safer access for aid workers reach them.
The funding ensures that delivery partners, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and the INGO-managed Sahel Regional Fund, can continue their heroic life-saving work in the region.
The funding also supports the work of the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) and the NGO International Security Organization (INSO).
His work between 2019 and 2022 under the Sahel Humanitarian Emergency Response Program (SHERP) supported 2.7 million people with food assistance, treated almost 900,000 severely malnourished children and ensured that more than 1, 5 million mothers could detect malnutrition among their children, allowing early intervention.
In addition, £15m of emergency humanitarian funding has been made available to north-east Nigeria over the coming months, when food is scarcest and humanitarian needs are highest.
Violence, displacement, poverty and climate shocks are just a few of the many reasons why 8.4 million people are in need of vital humanitarian assistance there.
This emergency funding supports the UK's work with the Nigerian government to create security in the face of growing instability in the north of the country.
In north-east Nigeria, the UK is proud to support the work of our delivery partners, the World Food Program and UNICEF, whose humanitarian workers take great risks to reach those who suffer the most.
This food assistance funding is part of the UK's broader commitment to prioritizing vital humanitarian aid for communities around the world that are most vulnerable due to a combination of ongoing crises.
The Federal Government has signed a cooperation agreement with Qatar Charity Organisation to build a social housing complex for orphans and the less privileged in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The agreement was signed by the Minister of State, Budget and National planning, Prince Clem Agba, on behalf of the Federal Government in Abuja on Wednesday.
Agba said that the intervention by the Qatar Charity Organisation was in the social housing complex for orphans and the less privileged members of the community, located at Wassa FCT, Abuja.
“Qatar Charity Organisation built a housing complex for the less privileged persons, who are victims of insurgencies in Sokoto State,
“The organisation also drilled 900 units of boreholes across the North East, North West and South West of the country,” Agba said.
He said that the interventions were in tandem with National Development Plan (NDP) 2021 to 2025, which was developed to succeed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 to 2020.
The minister said it would promote economic and socio-cultural development of the citizens in the areas of education, economic empowerment, employment, shelter for orphans, water and sanitation.
Agba said that the agreement signed was sequel to the permit issued to the organisation by the ministry to operate as an International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO).
He said that they were to carry out humanitarian, technical and other development activities under the supervision of the Embassy of Qatar in Nigeria.
“I wish to commend the organisation for the laudable interventions and implore them to extend their kind gesture to other states and communities that have not benefited from their programmes and projects.
“ I also wish to extend the appreciation of the Federal Government to Qatar for the step being taken to advance the bilateral ties between our two countries through economic growth and development ,” Agba said.
The Chairman and CEO of Qatar Charity Organisation, Yousif Al-kawari, commended the Federal Government for the constant support which they had received from it so far.
The Federal Government is to establish a fora to facilitate coordination of humanitarian activities to enhance accessibility to crisis victims in the North East.
Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said that the inability to access crisis victims was a source of concern.
The statement was signed by her Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Nneka Anibeze.
Farouq said that the safety of aid workers in the North East was also an issue militating against the seamless conduct of relief delivery to beneficiaries.
“The Technical Working Group is to develop a framework that we all have to key into as humanitarian actors, including security operatives, so that we have a seamless working relationship.
“Our work is augmentative because we all need each other to carry out this mandate effectively.
“To this end, the ministry is to establish a fora at National and State levels to coordinate humanitarian activities in the North East.
“It will also liaise with appropriate Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure the conduct of seamless humanitarian activities,” Farouq said.
The minister said that the ministry would also serve as a one-stop-shop that addresses operational needs of various stakeholders and conduct periodic field visits to the North East.
She further explained that the ministry would receive monthly reports of humanitarian activities through the Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Farouq, however, said that food and non-food items support would be taken to inaccessible locations when identified.
“The areas that can be reached by road will have the military support us while those inaccessible locations will have air drop-offs by the Air Force.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu and Ephraims Sheyin
A network of women leaders and NGOs headed by women has called on the Federal Government to provide food and essential commodities for IDP shelters and host communities across the nation as palliative measures during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.
The network, under the auspices of Women in Humanitarian Response in Nigeria Initiative (WiHRiNI), made this appeal in a statement signed by the National Coordinator, INSA Women Network, Ms Mimidoo Achakpa, on Tuesday in Abuja.
This followed the extension of 14 days lockdown by the government in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) report as at 9.50pm April 13, confirmed 343 cases of COVID-19, 10 deaths and 91 discharged cases.
According to the statement, the 2019-2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy for Nigeria estimates that over seven million people were affected by conflicts nationwide and were in need of food, protection and life-saving assistance, adding that the situation is further worsened by Coronavirus.
It further noted that COVID-19 pandemic has caused fear and anxiety amongst all, but more of economic hardship for majority of Nigerians who live through the days by daily earning.
“This situation has major adverse effect on Internally Displaced People across the country and in particular those residing in unrecognised/unregistered camps further reducing the dignity of indigent women, men and children, hampering their already limited access to vital resources including food and water.
“While the IDPs depend on interventions from government, INGOs, NGOs, etc, and other philanthropists some of them, mostly the men take up jobs including hawking and other menial jobs to at least always have food to eat to meet their basic obligations especially for those with their families.
“The women on the other hand, suffer increased human rights abuse as they face pressure such as demand for sex for food and other legitimate amenities and also have other responsibilities to cater like children’s education, health suffer, to mention a few.
“We appeal to the federal government to prioritise distributing relief to the IDPs even as we call for immediate assistance of food items and other relief materials to them, in the instance of this lock down and no access to menial jobs that some of them engage in,” it added.
The group, however lauded the federal government Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme and the release of 46,000 metric tons of rice, 36,495 kegs of vegetable oil, and other items valued at N3.2 billion by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the network consists of Women’s Right to Education Programme (WREP), Oasis Restoration Foundation, WANEP-Nigeria, IANSA Women Network Nigeria.
Others are Kebetkache Women Development Centre, Gender and Environmental Risk Reduction Initiative, FOMWAN Gender Equality, Peace and Development Centre and Allamin Foundation for Peace and Development.
WiHRiNI network was created to bring together women humanitarian leaders involved in humanitarian/emergency response to enhance strategic collaborations and information sharing for an effective, better coordinated, timely and principled humanitarian response in Nigeria.
Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has inaugurated a 42-member committee to check human trafficking and abuse in the state.
The Director General of the agency, Ms Julie Okon-Dunli, made the disclosure at the inauguration of the committee on Monday in Maiduguri.
Okon-Dunli disclosed that the committee was part of measures to enhance multi-sectorial approach in the campaign against human trafficking at state levels.
She disclosed that the committee would develop strategies to streamline anti trafficking activities, sensitisation and enhance empowerment support to victims of trafficking and other forms of abuse.
Okon-Dunli said the committee would work with the Ministry of Justice to enhance access to justice and other protection services to the victims and displaced persons at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the state.
She explained that membership of the committee comprised representatives of International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs), UN agencies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), community and religious leaders as well as youth and women groups.
While calling on the committee members to discharge their duties diligently, Okon-Dunli urged them to ensure prompt submission of quarterly report to the state government.
The director further sought for government support to the committee to enable it discharge its duties effectively.
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, who inaugurated the committee lauded the initiative, adding that it would go a long way to check trafficking and abuse against women, children and vulnerable groups.
Zulum revealed that the State House of Assembly was working on a bill to check sexual abuse and other related matters as well as obnoxious acts.
He added that the state government would also adopt proactive measures to encourage development of alternative energies at Ngala, Kalabalge and other rural communities.
The governor noted that the measure would reduce dependence on fossil fuel, protect women and children exposed to abuse in the course of searching for firewood.
Zulum called on the youth to be discipline, shun vices and engage in productive activities to enable them contribute to the social and economic development of the state.
Edited by: Saidu Adamu/Ismail Abdulaziz
The Government of Plateau has introduced peace education in primary and secondary schools to forestall the resurgence of Boko Haram and tackle the menace of radicalism among children and youths.
The Plateau Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, told the Correspondent of the Nigeria News Agency in New York that the state had paid dearly for violent conflicts.
Tyoden attended the 2017 Education Solutions International Conference in New York and delivered a keynote address on ‘SDGs-4: Character and Leadership Education in 2030 Development Agenda’.
He said that Plateau would become the first and only state in country to have introduced peace education in its primary and secondary schools curricula.
“As a society emerging from the throes of violent conflict, so much is required in terms of functional and collaborative partnership with the global community to develop the educational sector.
“This is with specific reference to infrastructure and curriculum development for peace education at the elementary and secondary school levels.
“However, the current situation where peace education is only taught at tertiary levels may not be the best approach as far as the quest for the de-radicalisation of young minds is concerned.
“For this reason, the Plateau State Government is committed to entrenching peace education in both primary and secondary schools as an antidote to negative radicalism.
“We have seen as much potential that if given the desired attention and support, Peace Education is a potent weapon.
“Against the threat of negative radicalism and violent extremism among pupils, especially at their critical formative stages,” he said.
To ensure its success, Tyoden said Plateau was willing to build strategic partnership with relevant stakeholders such as the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and other International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs).
According to him, the state will also partner with donor agencies to tackle the problems of negative social indoctrination, as well as other challenges facing our education sector.
Tyoden, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Jos, also said that there had been fundamental changes in infrastructure developments in the state as a result of the peace now being enjoyed.
“Road networks that were abandoned have now been completed. In fact, the main flyover in Jos is now fully functional.
“You remember Jang started it and left it half-way, it has been completed. We are into a lot of educational development, building of the educational institutions.
“Typical example: the only state university, which for 10 years could not produce a single graduate, did its convocation just last week.
“And that is subsequent to the accreditation of courses that were carried out by the NUC. So we’ve been doing a lot, both in terms of capacity development, enhancing infrastructure and community interaction.”
The deputy governor lamented over the consequences the dwindling revenue from oil was having on the state’s plan to reviving its moribund industries.
He said reviving the industries would add to the internally-generated revenue of the state and provide employment opportunities for the citizens.
According to him, however, the state government has already revived the Panyam Fish Farm, the Bokkos Farms and the Bottling Company in Barkin Ladi.
“We are also trying to revive the Jos International Breweries Limited and quite a lot of other industries; we’ve been discussing with investors.
“Like I said, it would go a long way in enhancing internally generated revenue and to that extent, add value to the economy and to the lives of the people,” he said.
Edited by: Muhammad Suleiman Tola