Defence/Security

Private Sector restates commitments to address humanitarian crisis in northeast

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The Private Sector Initiative (NPSI), on Tuesday, restated its commitments to support ongoing  interventions in humanitarian crisis caused by Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.

Mr Wale Tinubu, the Chairman of the group gave the assurance during a visit to some selected Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Maiduguri, Borno.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the visit was part of the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund-Private Sector Initiative (NHF-PSI), founded in 2018; to fast track collaboration between the UN, humanitarian organisations  and indigenous firms in raising  funds.

The initiative also seeks to provide platform for partnership and effective response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis affecting millions of people in the northeast.

Tinubu said  that the forum which comprises 14 large cooperate organizations, is spear heading effort to raise about 80 million US dollars, to support the UN humanitarian interventions and persons affected by the conflict.

Said he:  “The initiative is about Nigerians helping Nigerians. Today I have witnessed some of the most vulnerable people; women and children in the most difficult circumstances.

“Having seen the magnitude of the humanitarian needs, it is obvious that it is not a task that government  or any one agency can tackle alone.

“The onus is on us to use our position to repair, nurture, build and sustain our society and pave a path for a truly inclusive economy.”

He said that the structures were already in place; the food distribution, shelter, sanitation and health programmes. “All we need to do is to key in on the existing structures and help them to achieve their objectives”.

Tinubu lauded the Federal government, UN humanitarian agencies and development partners for their interventions toward alleviating the sufferings of the displaced persons.

On his part, Mr Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, said the initiative was first of its kind, designed to bring together private sector to support humanitarian activities with the government of Nigeria.

Kallon expressed optimism that the collaboration would set a pace for future partnership with the UN organisations and the private sector for the benefit of humanity at times of difficulties.

Also commenting on the initiative, Gov. Kashim Shettima, described it as a unique partnership.

Shettima added:  “I am very glad that the Nigerian private sector, a very vibrant sector, is at the vanguard of driving this programme.  Nigeria’s private sector has found a partnering UN agencies  that has the integrity to truly make things work”.

According to statistics by UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) has so far raised $83 million in contributions and pledges to date.

The UN and founding private sector members of the initiative have called for  more businesses to come together and collaborate under the platform of the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund-Private Sector Initiative to tackle the crisis.

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