The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, has revealed plans to visit Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, and refugee camps in Borno State.
Edu disclosed this during a working visit to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, on Tuesday, in Abuja.
The minister stressed government’s commitment towards eradicating poverty as outlined in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s 8-point agenda.
She emphasized the importance of cooperation with the Nigerian Air Force in delivering humanitarian aid to those affected by crises, both within and outside the country.
While outlining the objectives of her upcoming visit, she said “Beginning this week, we are heading to Borno State, where we’ll be visiting IDP camps, Refugee camps, and even the Amnesty camps to carry out some interventions. We believe that you would have your men on the ground to give us all the support that we need.
“These are mandates and we believe that in the cost of delivering on this mandate, your collaboration, your cooperation with us, your support for the ministry, cannot be overemphasized. And we need you to come fully on board as you’ve always done to ensure that you give us all the support.
“Coming down to specifics. I’m sure you’re quite aware that we have a good number of persons who are either internally displaced or they’re refugees or migrants or persons of concern really, and their communities some of them are in areas where it’s difficult to actually assess them, for one reason or the other.
“We will be seeking your support to see that we can assess them through your operations where they asked you to deliver humanitarian services to them or most times, it’s not just going in as individuals, but the ability to take commodities, welfare items, amongst other things, including palliatives, all the way down to those who are affected by humanitarian crises and at areas where we might have security or physical barriers, assessing them through the road or probably by water.
“Beyond this, sometimes both outside and within Nigeria.
“So, on the international scene we might have a humanitarian crisis where there is a need for us to evacuate Nigerians from any location back to our country. We’ll be seeking for collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force to be able to carry out operations activities both within and outside the country. We’re counting on you for support in terms of intelligence, we’re counting on you for support.
“In terms of security, we’re counting on you for support within your mandate to see that our job is achieved. And we achieved the results that Mr. President, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu wants to see, remember, it’s a ‘renewed hope agenda’, and he’s committed to truly renewing the hopes of Nigerians,” she said.
Air Marshal Abubakar expressed his appreciation for the minister’s innovative policies and unwavering commitment to addressing humanitarian challenges.
He highlighted the critical role of the Nigerian Air Force in providing support during crises, including disaster response and relief efforts.
“We can also optimize disaster response protocols to enable us to act swiftly, minimize duplication of efforts and ensure more efficient allocation of resources. Resource allocation is a critical aspect of humanitarian response. By collaborating closely, we can ensure that aid reaches those in need in a timely and efficient manner,” he said.
He underlined the longstanding collaboration between the Nigerian Air Force and the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, citing several successful joint operations, including the airlift of relief materials to neighboring countries.
Abubakar proposed areas for enhanced partnership, including joint training, optimized disaster response protocols, and the use of advanced technologies like drones and data analytics to improve humanitarian operations’ efficiency.
“In this age of rapid technological advancements, we should explore innovative solutions. Technologies such as drones and data analytics can revolutionize our humanitarian operations, making them more effective and efficient,” he said.