UN, Nigeria mobilise firms for North East’s fund
By Prudence Arobani,NAN
The first-ever joint humanitarian fund in which the private sector would join donors is to be launched by the UN and Nigerian business leaders to raise fund for rebuilding of northeast.
The initiate which would be launched on Thursday is ‘Nigeria Humanitarian Fund – Private Sector Initiative’ to provides private sector companies and business with the opportunity to contribute to the fund.
The Nigeria Humanitarian Fund is a country-based pooled fund alongside donor countries, set up in May 2017 and managed by the United Nations, to support a timely, coordinated and principled humanitarian response.
It is the first-ever joint humanitarian fund in which the private sector would join donor countries in providing assistance for humanitarian action.
The platform is a first in the world for humanitarian action, and it is a major innovation that would serve as a blueprint for other country-based funds.
The joint initiative seeks to harness the financial resources and expertise of Nigeria’s private sector to contribute to a more effective and timely humanitarian response in Nigeria.
The initiative also aimed to allow humanitarian actors to step up their response in north-east Nigeria, where the Boko Haram crisis has affected millions of families, the UN said.
The UN said: “The humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria that has spilled into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, is one of the most severe in the world today.
“In north-east Nigeria, 10 years of conflict have left more than seven million people in dire need of help in the three worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
“About 1.8 million people are internally displaced. People need food, water, shelter and health services.
“But with other global crises competing for scarce resources, the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund is today evolving to partner with the Nigerian private sector to mobilise additional resources and ensure more timely and effective lifesaving support for the affected population”.
The launch would be attended by leaders of Nigeria’s private sector, senior UN representatives, representatives of donor countries and the civil society.
“Mr Jim Ovia, Founder and pioneer Group MD/CEO of Zenith Bank (NHF PSI Founder Donor and Steering Group Chair) and CEO Mr Wale Tinubu of Oando – one of Africa’s largest integrated energy solutions provider – are among several of Nigeria’s top business leaders who have joined this collaborative, accountable and measurable platform for humanitarian action.
“A number of major Nigerian companies are expected to pledge donations at the launch,” the UN said.
First announced at the Oslo Conference in February 2017, the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund became operational in May 2017 and has raised $70 million from 17 donor countries.
Considered an “Investment in Humanity” the Fund, which is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on behalf of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, supports life-saving assistance.
By partnering with Nigeria’s private sector, the Fund seeks to raise awareness and support to the humanitarian response from business leaders who play an important role in the lives of Nigerians.
This initiative would see companies in Nigeria support the Fund and join other donor countries that have donated to the Fund. (NAN)