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Buhari Elevates Response To Northeast Humanitarian Situation

Channels Television  
Updated September 23, 2016

Northeast Humanitarian Situation Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved a change in the management of the humanitarian crisis in the northeast, putting cabinet ministers in direct charge of sectoral coordination.

He said the decision was to ensure that the situation was confronted more effectively.

Before the President’s decision, sectoral coordination of the humanitarian situation was managed by director-cadre ministry officials.

The cabinet ministers will now be in charge of governmental response to the humanitarian emergency caused by Boko Haram insurgency in the north eastern part of Nigeria.

A statement by Laolu Akande, a spokesman for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said an inter-ministerial task force had been established by President Buhari to coordinate the response and work with humanitarian agencies to support the governments and other structures in the affected states.

In the multi-sectoral task force, each sector will now be led by a minister while the entire task force is led by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

The ministry will now coordinate and mobilise the domestic, governmental and private sector resources necessary to effectively meet this challenge with the urgency it demands.

The ministers, who will now personally supervise their ministry’s role in the newly modified governance structure include ministers of health, interior, women affairs, agriculture and water resources.

Save Lives And Restore Normalcy

The National Security Adviser to the President and the Chief of Army Staff, National Emergency Management Agency and the Presidential Committee on Northeast Intervention would also be actively involved in the new elevated response model approved by the president.

After taking over power in May 2015, President Buhari’s administration has reiterated its commitment to defeating Boko Haram and countering violent extremism.

While military operations in the region have heightened, decimating the terrorist group, UNICEF has raised concerns over humanitarian crisis in the region, saying children are at risk of death due to malnutrition.

It has been difficult to send relief to people in the region due to activities of the terrorist group and military in the northeast, the UN agency said.

As the military forces move deeper into the core Boko Haram strongholds, they have discovered and freed several persons who are severely malnourished and in poor health.

This dire situation shows acute need for stronger coordination, oversight and direction of all northeast humanitarian interventions and resettlement efforts.

Non-governmental organisations, United Nations agencies and other donor agencies have sent relief materials to the region but UNICEF said more nutritious foods are needed to save about 49,000 severely malnourished children, pregnant women and nursing mothers at the risk of death before the end of the year.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has also expressed appreciation for the human and material resources already deployed by the United Nations agencies, international development partners, non-governmental organisations and other private companies and individuals who have been assisting to meet the urgent needs of the victims.

With the new management structure, the Federal Government has given assurances to the UN and all other partners, local and international, of its readiness to effectively lead the humanitarian response, deploy adequate resources and do everything possible to mobilise a rapid response in order to save lives and restore normalcy to the affected areas.