Donors Redeems $700mn Pledges on North-East/Lake Chad Intervention
Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama has disclosed that the sum of about 700m dollars pledged at the Oslo Conference to help tackle issues of humanitarian crisis occasioned by activities of Boko Haram insurgents and the shrinking of the Lake Chad has so far been realized.
The Minister made the disclosure while responding to questions from newsmen at the end of a closed door meeting with Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
The UN had in February organized a 1.5bn dollars donor conference in Oslo to tackle the complex crisis caused by Boko Haram terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin.
At the conference hosted by Norway in conjunction with Germany and Nigeria. Donors had pledged more than 670 million dollars in support of aids operations to help save the lives of about 14m people including children said to be in urgent need of food and other basic necessities of life.
But as at today nearly half of the amount pledged have so far been received. “At the last count, I believe about 700m dollars have been realized in the pledges made to assist in the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad basin country including Nigeria.
“Nigeria is having the large chunk of it. The UN is disbursing a lot of the fund, and a lot of it is going into relief and food materials for the Lake Chad region countries,” Onyeama stated.
He however appreciated the donors for the contributions and commended the UN for the role it played in organizing the donor conference.
Onyeama however acknowledged that there were challenges in the redemption of the pledges by the donors and expressed hope that the forthcoming General Assembly of the United Nations would provide the country an opportunity to present these challenges.
He said, “we appreciate very much the role the UN has been playing in assisting us addressing the serious humanitarian challenges we are facing in the northeast of the country
“We are very grateful to the UN for assisting us to organized the donor meeting in Oslo and really put it in front centre of the international and global stage
“We appreciate the visit which is meant to highlight the challenges of the Lake Chad Basin countries.”
The Minister, however, stated that in spite of the challenges a lot has been achieved from the pledges made by countries in Oslo.
“We appreciate it very much, of course the challenge in the pledge is to have it all redeemed but it is a work in progress and significant amount has been redeemed.
“UN has also embarked on creating awareness through the UN General Assembly and to encourage international support,” he said
Earlier, Lowcock had informed the minister that he was in Nigeria to have firsthand assessment of the humanitarian crisis in the northeast region and report back to the UN General Assembly.
“My visit is to have firsthand assessment of the situation here and in particular to understand the progress made in the lives of the people that need humanitarian help.
“Over 11 million people over a year ago were in need of humanitarian help and are now being helped by Nigerian government and the international community.
“Next week when the leadership of the UN will gather we will have the opportunity to take the stock of the progress made and to identify further area where the assistance would be provided,” he said
Lowcock will meet with affected populations and humanitarian partners to evaluate the response, and also engage with government officials in the northeast and to advocate for increased support to affected people and communities.
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