The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has pledged to offer $270 million in aid to support Nigeria’s humanitarian response and poverty alleviation efforts.
UNICEF Country Representative, Christian Mundate, made the commitment in Abuja during a working visit to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, on Tuesday.
Mundate noted that the fund will also provide technical aid to enhance the ministry’s staff capabilities and the establishment of a humanitarian response framework for Nigeria.
According to her, the collaborative effort will ensure efficient coordination among all humanitarian stakeholders.
She noted that UNICEF will also play a role in establishing a National Humanitarian Situation Room or Humanitarian Emergency Operation Centre, HEOC, for the purpose of monitoring, mitigating, and preventing humanitarian crises while enhancing overall system resilience.
In her remarks, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, stated that President Bola Tinubu’s administration has a phased strategy to lift 133 million Nigerians out of poverty, particularly the 71 million living on less than $1.95 per day.
Edu urged UNICEF to strategize and align its effort with the government’s poverty alleviation initiative, urging the fund to also draw up plans towards supporting the government on poverty alleviation.
“Time is of the essence and we need to run at the speed of light to roll out social programs that will bring relief to the burdens of the poor. Nigerians are eagerly waiting for full implementation of the renewed hope agenda, the time for intense action is now,” the minister said.
While assuring the fund of transparency and accountability in all the processes of the ministry, she told the delegation that the engagement with partners like UNICEF will continue until government achieves its targets.