On October 2, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) hosted a workshop on the Humanitarian Response Plan. The workshop which held at the Rockview Royal Hotel in Abuja was organized to deliberate on the key results of the state-level Humanitarian Needs Overview workshops carried out in August/September 2018 and use them as a consensus for determining the critical needs and response priorities of the 2019-2021 Humanitarian Response Plan. Present at the event were representatives from federal and state governments, as well as the Humanitarian Coordinator, the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, the Humanitarian Country Team, the Inter-Sector Working Group and other key representatives.
In his opening remarks, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Emmanuel Kallon described the 2019-2021 HRP as “a multi-year strategy that demonstrates a commitment by the international humanitarian community to align with the federal government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the Buhari Plan and the United Nations Sustainable Development Partnership Framework” and as “a step towards strengthening the humanitarian, development and peace nexus” – the embodiment and guiding principle of interventions agreed upon at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016. He also urged partners and donors to continue to ensure that their operations are guided by the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
In his remarks, the Vice Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI), Mr. Tijjani Tumsah, reaffirmed the need for synergy “between humanitarian and developmental efforts” stressing that the nexus between both dimensions must be reflected in the varied engagements in the region. He said that the 2019-2021 HRP represents an opportunity to further establish this nexus and enable the transition from humanitarian operations to early recovery and development. Tumsah, who was represented by the PCNI Director, Administration and Secretariat, Mr Umar Gulani, further remarked that with the military’s successes in reclaiming areas previously held by insurgents and an increasing number of people wishing to return home and rebuild their lives, the nexus will also be a guiding principle for PCNI’s support for the safe and sustainable return of vulnerable people to their communities.
He stated that the affected states offer different contexts with peculiar challenges, may have different approaches to solving them and that some areas are readier than others for certain types of interventions. There are areas that will still require continued humanitarian assistance, and there are areas where the quantum of assistance required may vary and more early recovery measures are needed.
The stakeholders’ strategy, he said, should reflect the complexity of the situation on the ground. Mr. Tumsah also emphasized that the role of the PCNI is to build linkages between actors, leverage capacities, and share information so that each state can benefit maximally from the experiences of others. He urged all partners to continue to share information and seek to collaborate to help fill gaps where they are present.