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Tinubu on right track with humanitarian agenda, says UN envoy

Tinubu on right track with humanitarian agenda, says UN envoy
November 20
15:01 2023

Matthias Schmale, the United Nations (UN) resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, says the President Bola Tinubu administration is tackling the nation’s humanitarian crises the right way. 

Schmale spoke with NAN at the retreat of resident coordinators in New York.

“I think that the Tinubu administration is on a good track; the president recently launched the presidential humanitarian trust fund and he is asked at this trust to address humanitarian crises,” NAN quoted Schmale as saying.

“He’s asked that this trust fund is sourced two thirds from within Nigeria, private sector and government each, and a third international community solidarity.

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“So, we think that’s the right way to go in Nigeria, despite some desperate indicators around poverty and so on as a middle-income country.

“We welcome that the government under President Tinubu sees it as their responsibility to drive preparedness and response to humanitarian concerns.

“You will have heard from our leadership, the UN Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General and around rescuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda.

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“The new government is very much up for that. We are urging the international community to take up the request for partnership to rescue the SDG agenda and help them accelerate development.’’

Speaking on security concerns in the north-east, Schmale said that the Nigerian military has achieved some success with the Boko Haram insurgency.

“So, Boko Haram, again, as a summary term is weaker than it used to be,” he added.

“Our assessment would be that they cannot sustain the kinds of military campaigns against the military but instead, what they are doing is inflicting violence on civilians, you know their violence has become more unpredictable.

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“So right now, North Nigeria I think is relatively safe and protected from those influences as much as it can be but the region itself is not.

“For the UN, I think it’s fair to say the influence of violent extremist groups remains of grave concern.”

On October 24, the federal executive council (FEC) approved the creation of a humanitarian and poverty trust fund to raise at least five billion dollars annually.

The trust fund is aimed at enabling the federal government respond timeously to humanitarian situations in the country.

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Contributors to the fund will include the federal government, the private sector and international organisations.

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