Buhari Pledges $3m For Take-Off Of AU Humanitarian Agency

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President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to donate the sum of $3 million on behalf of the country for the take-off of the African Union Humanitarian Agency.

President Buhari made the pledge on Friday at the 16th African Union Extra-ordinary Session of Assembly of Heads of State and Government on Humanitarian Crises in African and Pledging Conference, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea,

This is coming just as the African Union Chairman and President of Senegal, Macky Sall, also pledged $3m on behalf of his country, urging other African leaders to contribute to the establishment of the agency.

The summits tagged ‘extraordinary humanitarian summit and pledging conference’, as well as the ‘extraordinary summit on unconstitutional changes of government in Africa’, was held from May 25 to 28.

According to a statement by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, Buhari, in his remarks at the 16th African Union extraordinary session, said more than five million people have been displaced in the Lake Chad region, with 70 percent of them mostly Nigerians.

The president said in tackling this menace, his administration created the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, to respond to the growing issues relating to displaced persons. 

“This is in line with the Kampala convention for the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons.  I am glad to inform your excellencies that the ministry of humanitarian affairs of Nigeria has continued to live up to its mandate in responding quickly to all situations of displaced persons and disaster management,” he said. 

Commenting on the establishment of the new humanitarian agency by the AU, Buhari said the development will help Africa to effectively coordinate and respond to crises on the continent.

The president pledged to donate $3 million for the commencement of operations at the newly-created African Union humanitarian agency.

He also called the attention of the union to rising global warming issues across the world, adding that Africa needs to focus on preserving its aquatic and ecological systems. 

“We cannot deny the fact that we have a very dangerous humanitarian crisis in our hands,” he said.

“The rationale for the establishment of this agency is to forge a common African position on humanitarian effectiveness and to create an appropriate continental architecture to effectively respond and coordinate humanitarian crises on the continent.

“You will agree that this conference could not have come at a better time, considering the challenges posed by the increasing rate of Internally Displaced Persons, Refugees and Returning Migrants, to our various countries and the continent at large.

“As you are aware, mr. Chairperson, the world is confronted by emerging threats, such as climate change, resulting in global warming, rising levels in waters, in some climes shrinking of rivers and lakes.

“All these lead to distortions in our aquatic and consequently ecological systems.  Conflicts, violent extremism and terrorist attacks, including herdsmen-farmers clashes and banditry lead to the displacement of whole communities, thus rendering thousands of people homeless.”

 




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