Dr Betta Edu
THE Federal Government has secured the agreement of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, to set up humanitarian response stations across the country in a bid to bring timely succour to victims of disasters.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, disclosed while speaking with State House correspondents in Dubai, UAE, after her interactions with officials of the Emirati government at the ongoing United Nation Climate Change Conference (COP28).
The minister said Nigeria sought the assistance of the UAE to tackle humanitarian crises arising from insurgency, particularly in the north east, as well as end the endemic poverty in other parts of the country.
She explained that the UAE Red Crescent, which is equivalent to the Red Cross, was now ready to build a more resilient humanitarian response system across the country.
The minister said: “We have held a lot of interactions at different levels, of course, with the government of the UAE. We spoke extensively on how we can work together to pull millions of managers out of poverty.
“We have had interactions with the World Trade Organization, WTO, DG, who is one of our own. We have had interactions with the president of the Islamic Development Bank and it’s centered on humanitarian response, and other poverty alleviation programs they can come in to support the country.
“Finally, we had interaction with the Red Crescent, which is like the Red Cross here in Dubai and they are ready to come into Nigeria and support us to build a more resilient humanitarian response system across the country.”
Edu blamed climate change for the humanitarian crises and poverty in most parts of Nigeria, noting that it had driven people to insurgency and caused security problems in the country.
She said the role of her ministry at COP28 was to “see how we can be part of the climate change adaptation, to get support to provide jobs for people to lift them out of poverty, to key into the Paris Agreement, and see how we can align to ensure we prevent and mitigate all of those natural disasters that lead people into humanitarian crises.”
Edu said: “Climate change is very critical and central to what the ministry of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation does. Most of our humanitarian crises are a result of climate change and most of the poverty which we are tackling are a result of climate change.
“The flooding which you see every other time in Nigeria is a result of climate change. And, of course, there are issues around the drying up of the Lake Chad Basin, as well as the Sahel and the rest of it, which has led to people losing their livelihoods, over 40 million persons, who depend on this Lake Chad Basin, losing their livelihoods.
“Now these people have become very gullible. They go into poverty, and they can now become easy prey for people who want to recruit into all of these terrorist organizations that are causing insurgency.
“We can’t be trying to bring people out of humanitarian crises and then allowing more people to fall in as a result of climate change. And that’s why we are at this meeting.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has observed that the climate change and its consequences gripping the earth were attributable to the actions of the developed world that were responsible for most of the greenhouse emissions.
The Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal, who said this also in an interview with State House correspondents at the margins of COP28, affirmed that the Nigerian delegation was determined to canvass a position that benefits the country and its people.