North-East: FG, UN, INGOs, security agencies move to improve access to vulnerable groups

Partners of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development have adopted a 12-point agenda aimed at improving Civil Security Cooperation in humanitarian interventions in the North East region.

Speaking at the international workshop on improving humanitarian interventions in the North East convened by the Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq in Maiduguri on Sunday, challenges of humanitarian workers in the North East were put on the front burner while partners resolved to urgently strengthen coordination between the civil authority, military, security actors and the humanitarian actors currently operating in the North East.

Speaking at the international workshop, the Minister identified poor access to beneficiaries in certain Local Governments of Borno State, security and safety of humanitarian workers as issues 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 as well as 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.

“The Federal Government has directed that we come in with food and non-food items support to be taken to these inaccessible locations when identified.

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“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.

“So we all have to work together with the states, the federal, the military, UN, INGOs, NEMA, SEMA and others to ensure the safe delivery of these humanitarian aids to beneficiaries,” Farouq said.

To this end, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs is to establish a forum at National and State levels to coordinate humanitarian activities in the North East while liaising with appropriate Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure the conduct of seamless humanitarian activities.

The Ministry will also serve as a one-stop-shop that addresses operational needs of various stakeholders, conduct periodic field visits to the North East and receive monthly reports of humanitarian activities through the Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In his response, the Deputy Governor of Borno State, Hon. Umar Usman Kadafur promised that the state will work together with NEMA and all partners to ensure that the relief items get safely to the end-users.

“We will ensure that all food items donated by the Federal Government reach the persons they are meant for and also work towards tidying up all these grey areas raised during the meeting. I will visit the affected areas alongside international organisations, NEMA and SEMA to personally supervise the distribution.

“We shouldn’t have an issue on security as the Commandant has assured us that they will provide adequate security for all the teams and will be part of the distribution team.”

The security sector however resolved to continue to safeguard the seamless delivery of humanitarian aid as well as guarantee the safety and security of humanitarian actors in line with the agreements reached at the CiSEC workshop.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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