The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, stated on Thursday in Abuja that the Federal Government would create a Presidential Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund.
Edu, who spoke at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s country director’s visit to the humanitarian ministry, said the fund was one of many initiatives to help over 133 million Nigerians escape poverty and other humanitarian challenges.
The minister also requested the foundation’s financial and technical assistance in order to accomplish the mission of rescuing millions of Nigerians from poverty and addressing the numerous humanitarian issues that exist all over the nation.
We have a tremendous work ahead of us, she remarked. Over 16 million Nigerians are presently impacted by humanitarian crises brought on by either man-made or natural calamities. Of course, security concerns and isolated pockets of rioting in various places have not helped.
“Other natural catastrophes, such as the flooding we are currently experiencing and the opening of a dam in another country that will have an impact on Nigeria, are another call for attention to make sure that people are taken care of.
“And then there are these unrests in all the close countries, particularly in Cameroon’s southern region, where over 46,000 refugees are entering Nigeria. Over 36,000 people live in Cross River, then. In Taraba, there is a lot, and also in Benue along that border.”
She informed her guests that, among other places, Sokoto, Kano, and Katsina, the government was addressing various challenges in Niger.
“The migrants who attempted to cross through Niger and Libya and gathered at the border are in addition to the Nigerians who are refugees in this nation. There is a lot to consider when it comes to humanitarian problems and what our ministry has to do,” she added.
“However, poverty alleviation is now the more important issue. According to the most recent Bureau of Statistics data, around 133 million Nigerians live in multidimensional poverty, and of these, about 70 million are living in extreme poverty.”
She explained that this means they are surviving on less than $1.95 each day.
“We need your assistance to achieve the President’s commitment to the SDG, which is to lift these people out of poverty by 2030. You must assist us! That’s a lot of effort, and I really felt it was crucial to get you involved at this early stage, Edu said.
“Second, we would also want substantial financial assistance in order to support projects, processes, and helping with implementation. It starts with one of the innovations we want to put on board, which is the Presidential Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund.”
According to the minister, the government would need to be able to launch a full-fledged resource mobilization, a move that might let it pool resources into one account.
As her guests vowed to help the humanitarian ministry and Nigeria, Edu said, “This will be used to address both the humanitarian crises and the poverty alleviation programs and projects without necessarily going through the bureaucratic bottlenecks of government.”