By Chimezie Godfrey
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, says Federal Government will partner with World Food Programme (WFP) on poverty alleviation, education and health.
The Minister stated this on Tuesday when a delegation of World Food Programme led by Paul Howe paid her a courtesy visit in her office at the Ministry in Abuja.
“Poverty alleviation, education and health are some of the areas where we are working on and to know the areas of improvement,” she said.
She pointed out that the country is faced with the challenges of malnutrition in the North-East, especially with the children in the displaced population, adding that government has been making efforts on food security since 2016 to the internally displaced persons in the North-East.
Farouq stressed that there is need to explore areas of partnership with World Food Programme to support the Federal Government’s effort, especially in the areas of security and capacity building of personnel to enable them tackle malnutrition challenges in the North-East.
She also spoke on the improvement of Social Investment Programme (SIP), Home Grown School Feeding Programme, which is aimed at feeding primary school pupils in different states across the nation.
According to her, “In the area of Social Investment Programme of government, l am sure you are aware that the Federal Government has a programme that is running, which is targeted at primary school pupils (primary one-three). They are been given a meal per day and the nutrition of this food is very important to us. So we are going to explore this area to see how we can improve on what we have on ground.
“The Ministry is new as you are aware and we have key priority areas that we want to focus on.
“Our immediate focus now will be on how we are going to develop policies and institutional framework.
“And we are also going to focus on evidence database system because is only when we have that we can effectively and efficiently take this intervention to these affected population.”
Speaking further on the focal areas of post emergency construction and rehabilitation she said, ”In response to Mr. President’s directive to move from conflict to early recovery, the Ministry will focus on post emergency construction and rehabilitation of the displaced population.
“We have agencies that are in charge of some of these responsibilities”.
Farouq disclosed that the Federal Government will also mainstream all the 17 goals of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG’s) especially in critical areas that the ministry is mandated to handle such as poverty alleviation, education and health adding that the affected communities need to be provided these facilities.
Earlier in his remark, the leader of the delegation, World Food Programme, Paul Howe, commended the minister on her numerous achievements since she assumed office noting that the establishment of the Ministry and the work already done have made a very huge impact in the North-East.
He thanked the Minister for all her support adding that real humanitarian work is ongoing in the North-East and pledged its willingness to support and work with the Nigerian Government to strengthen its partnership in tackling prevalent food crisis facing the Internally Displaced persons in the North-East.