Nigeria Co-organises International Donor Conference To Tackle Humanitarian Situation In Northeast, Raises US$672m

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, speaking on 24 February 2017 at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference. Photo: REUTERS

An International Humanitarian Summit co-organised by the Governments of Nigeria, Norway and Germany, and the United Nations produced pledges totalling $672 million in Oslo, Norway, on Friday February 24, 2017. Fourteen donors pledged $458 million towards humanitarian operations in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad region in 2017, and $214 million in multi-year commitments for 2018 and beyond.

The Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region, which held at the Scandic Holmenkollen Park Hotel, was convened to draw global attention to the humanitarian crisis, mobilize resources needed to effectively confront it, and to address the medium-term and long-term development needs of the 14 million people in need in the region.

“Nigeria is facing a brutal terrorist insurgency at the same time as it is dealing with low oil prices and an economic recession. While the Government is committing significant budgetary allocations to confront the security and humanitarian situation arising from the insurgency, we also need all the help and support we can get from the international community,” Minister Onyeama said in Oslo, ahead of the Summit.

Nigeria’s delegation to the Conference was led by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama. Other members included the Honourable Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kassim Shettima, and Nigeria’s Chief Humanitarian Coordinator, Dr. Ayoade Alakija. Also attending from Nigeria were representatives from the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNeI), and Civil Society Organizations working in the northeast.

“Nigeria is facing a brutal terrorist insurgency at the same time as it is dealing with low oil prices and an economic recession. While the Government is committing significant budgetary allocations to confront the security and humanitarian situation arising from the insurgency, we also need all the help and support we can get from the international community,” Minister Onyeama said in Oslo, ahead of the Summit. Mr. Onyeama met representatives from USAID and other donor agencies, and led a bilateral meeting with Norway’s Foreign Minister, Børge Brende.

As part of the Federal Government’s response to the urgency of the humanitarian situation in the northeast, President Muhammadu Buhari in September 2016 established an Inter-Ministerial Task Force (IMTF), as a multi-stakeholder platform to support the Federal Government’s humanitarian response in north-eastern Nigeria.

The Task Force directly places Cabinet Ministers in charge of sectoral coordination of the humanitarian response, and is chaired by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed. Members include the Ministers of Health, Interior, Women Affairs, Agriculture and Water Resources, National Security Adviser to the President, the Chief of Army Staff, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the Presidential Committee on the Northeast Initiative (PCNeI).

In 2016 the HCWG led the development, in collaboration with the United Nations, of a Humanitarian Response Plan for 2017, with Nigeria’s component requiring US$1.054 billion for implementation.

A Humanitarian Coordination Working Group (HCWG) was set up as the operational arm of the IMTF, to directly coordinate the humanitarian response, and implement the agenda of the Task Force. The HCWG, based at the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) in Abuja, and headed by Chief Humanitarian Coordinator Dr Ayoade Alakija, brings together the key stakeholders at Federal and State levels, along with Donors, Aid Agencies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

In 2016 the HCWG led the development, in collaboration with the United Nations, of a Humanitarian Response Plan for 2017, with Nigeria’s component requiring US$1.054 billion for implementation. The Oslo Humanitarian Conference was convened to mobilize funding to bridge the gap, which is exclusive of the more than $2 billion already allocated in 2017 budget proposals for the region by Nigeria’s Federal and State Governments, working through various Ministries, Departments and Agencies.