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Hardship: Humanitarian Aid Dwindling – UN

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) has lamented that major donors who provide funds for humanitarian assistance are cutting down on their funds.

The head of the office in Nigeria, Trond Jensen, made this known when he visited the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mrs Zubaida Umar, in Abuja.

He said that the development has made it imperative for both agencies to pull their resources together and work smarter to provide solutions to the humanitarian issues.

He said that this year UN-OCHA is looking for 20 per cent fewer funds to meet the needs of almost 300 million people globally, and that due to such challenges, there is the need to be in partnership with NEMA and draw strengths from each other to solve humanitarian issues.

He explained that the partnership meant there should be effective and efficient means in solving problems, underscoring the need to tap from local resources.

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Jensen said that various humanitarian issues including increased temperatures and irregular weather patterns, stressing the need to find ways to prevent and mitigate natural disasters.

On her part, Mrs Umar said it was on record that “we have worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of people affected by disasters and build the resilience of communities in Nigeria to enable them develop their capacity for adaptation to ongoing and emerging hazards.

“This, we have done through the improvement of our early warning systems, sensitisation and awareness campaigns, development and review of plans and policies, regular stakeholders’ engagement and the prepositioning of relief materials for deployment in the event of sudden onset disasters.”

She said that the collaboration between NEMA and UN-OCHA had been instrumental in enabling the agency to enhance its response capabilities and reach out to more people in need.

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