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HUMANITARIAN MINISTER EXPLAINS GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has reiterated the need for developed countries to honour the promises made in 2009 of mobilizing $100 billion annually to support climate action in developing countries.

The Minister who was one of the panelists at the Global launch of the 2022 Humanitarian Overview, made this known on Thursday while speaking on the theme ‘Climate Change and Responding to a More Challenging Humanitarian Landscape’ virtually hosted by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Umar Farouq stated that since the ministry’s establishment in August 2019, it has worked collaboratively with critical stakeholders to address socio economic vulnerabilities and provide humanitarian action.

“I believe the main challenge we face is the global responsibility, to address climate change collectively. In Glasgow, we urged developed countries to honour the promises made in 2009 of mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020 to support climate action in developing countries.

“Our focus towards reversing climate change requires vision, fortitude and coordinated action. This is a collective vision and must be deployed through engagement with international, regional and state actors. I believe, we as a Government play a critical role in making sure that we provide the leadership required to achieve the vision, to ensure a stronger, greener and cleaner Nigeria for generations to come”.

The minister further explained that the Government of Nigeria, in partnership with the UN system and other critical stakeholders created a National Humanitarian Development Peace Framework which specifically focuses on enhancing disaster preparedness, prevention, mitigation and strengthening disaster risk information, governance and infrastructure.

“Climate and health related disasters require both short and long term thinking and action, local and global perspectives and the ability of government to work with critical stakeholders to adapt strategies that aid citizens to safely navigate their changing environment.

“This is in addition to a National Climate Change Policy and programme of Action, a National Gender Climate Change Action Plan, the National Climate Change Youth Innovation Platform and the National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan”.

Minister Umar Farouq reiterated that investing in disaster prevention, preparedness and mitigation mechanisms is crucial to reducing the effects of climate change and in building resilience of communities.

“Very critical to our climate change response is the Great Green Wall” initiative being implemented to combat desertification. Working with the UN and other non-governmental agencies, this game-changing African-led initiative aims to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes and transform millions of lives in one of the world’s poorest regions, the Sahel. Once complete, the Wall will be the largest living structure on the planet – an 8,000 km natural wonder of the world stretching across the entire width of the continent. In Nigeria, over 8 million trees have been produced and planted and over 1,300 jobs created.

This initiative in Nigeria is working to prevent or reverse the degradation of ecosystems while improving the living conditions of affected communities – enhancing the provision of ecosystem services.

“These government policies, action plans and programmes address the nexus between climate change, gender and security, migration and humanitarian issues. We are focused on building the resilience needed to help Nigerians, especially persons of concern survive the challenges of climate change, now and in the future. Key to our efforts is to recognise and resolve how climate disproportionately affects the vulnerable, especially women, and why it is necessary to mobilise and amplify youth voices as we work towards developing market driven solutions to combat climate change”.

The Global Humanitarian Overview is the world’s most comprehensive, authoritative and evidence-based overview of the current state and future trends in humanitarian action. The launch is part of a global plan to engage decision-makers and humanitarian actors in highlighting the key themes and urgent priorities covered in the Global Humanitarian Overview 2022.

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