Humanitarian Ministry, ECOWAS Commission to enhance collaboration on disaster management

By Chimezie Godfrey

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has assured the ECOWAS Commission of its continuous readiness to enhance Disaster Risk Management (DRM).

The Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq stated this while Information Communication and Technology, ICT, equipment donated by the Commission, on Thursday in Abuja.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Jalal Arabi, the Minister noted that ECOWAS have been facilitating sustainable integration and development of West African States and Governments. 

She pointed out that this is visible through promoting and supporting effective disaster risk management that helps create safer and resilient communities in social, economic and environmental terms.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank ECOWAS Commission for the technical support and assistance from the World Bank Global for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR). 

“This gesture will go a long way to support, enhance, build and strengthen National Platforms and Disaster Management Agencies to achieve the desired goal for National Disaster Risk Reduction Program for West Africa under the ACP-EU,” stated 

The Minister further said that the support received from the Commission will enable the National Emergency Management (NEMA) to provide trainings and capacity building to national and local staff engaged in disaster risk management.

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Siga Fatima Jagne presented Information Communication Technology (ICT) equipment on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission to the Ministry for the benefit of the National Emergency Management (NEMA). 

Jagne said the equipment were purchased under a signed grant agreement between the World Bank Global for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR) and ECOWAS Commission in the development and implementation of programmes to strengthen disaster risk reduction coordination, planning and policy advisory capacity in West Africa and financed by the European Union.

She disclosed that the equipment are part of the ECOWAS capacity building and institutional strengthening support of the national disaster management and civil protection agencies in the ECOWAS region.

“The need to procure this equipment arose out of the felt need expressed by ECOWAS Member States to further strengthen data collection capacity and emergency operations especially in light of the growing impacts of climate change.

“And the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic where evidence based data and information are essential and necessary to enhance decision-making in the response to complex climate hazards including the ongoing pandemic and post pandemic recovery,”she stated.

The items donated include 8(eight) Desk Top Computers, 8(eight) UPS, 8(eight) Printers, 1() Heavy Duty Photocopying Machine and 2 (two) Projectors.

In a similar development, the National Youth Fighters for Humanitarian Affairs, a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO) led by its President, Zainab Olaitan Salihu donated preventive items against COVID-19 such as hand sanitisers and liquid soaps to the ministry.

Salihu said the NGO is into providing skill acquisition services to and are willing to provide training in the production of such items.

The Director, Special Duties, Humanitarian Affairs Ministry, Nadia Soso-Mohammed who received the items on  behalf of the ministry, appreciated the gesture.

She said the NGO has been a good and credible partner and that the ministry is looking forward to greater relationship with the organisation.