COVID-19: Humanitarian Agencies collaborate to contain spread

By Mnena yorkegh, Abuja


The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has called on all the agencies of the Ministry to work in unison in deploying all resources to support the national efforts for maximum impact on the fight against the current global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, made this call at a meeting with all the agencies of the Ministry, where strategies were made towards the nationwide response with emphasis to target the most vulnerable groups in the society.

Community Engagement
The Minister said the Ministry-led intervention would prioritise prevention and community engagement and increase sensitisation to curtail spread of COVID-19.

“The importance of the task ahead of us cannot be overemphasised as our innovations and strategies emanating from our collective efforts will cushion the backlash of the ongoing crisis.

“Given, the lack of precedent for a total lock down, I call on you all to be innovative, flexible, transparent and supportive while being on the lookout for lessons to be learned for future application,” the Minister explained.

According to her ‘‘the Ministry and the agencies have a collective responsibility to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and to save lives and alleviate suffering of people in line with its mission and mandate. It is also our responsibility to act and coordinate all interventions that promote social development and strengthen social systems that provide support for and protection of vulnerable groups in Nigeria.

 ‘We are in an emergency and work must start immediately, the efforts of the Ministry will be part of the ongoing interventions of the Presidential Task Force on covid-19, but with a focus on the vulnerable groups in the country. We also will adopt a multi-faceted approach which will also focus on the poor and vulnerable, the elderly, refugees, IDPs, persons living with disabilities, trafficked persons, petty traders, among others in its response to COVID-19 in the country,’’ she said. 

Human and Material Resources
The Minister also directed all its agencies to make available both human and material resources to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and the Presidential Task Force for use in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“To provide some respite for the vulnerable, we will provide targeted social interventions to them to ensure every Nigerian identified as a vulnerable person receives support. We will equally leverage the existing social intervention programmes to provide safety nets nationwide,” she stated.

COVID-19 Response Committee
The Ministry’s COVID-19 Response Committee comprises all the agencies supervised by the Ministry working jointly and speedily to deliver emergency relief to vulnerable segments of our society.

According to the Ministry, the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA, under the Ministry will lead in delivering services and relief to people and most especially the vulnerable groups along with the other agencies, including NAPTIP, the North East Development Commission ( NEDC) SDGs and the four components of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs) namely N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme (NHSFP).


Confidence Okwuchi