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ECOWAS Calls For Improved Collaboration to Curb Worsening Humanitarian Crisis In West Africa

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ECOWAS Calls For Improved Collaboration to Curb Worsening Humanitarian Crisis In West Africa

By: Michael Mike

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for improved collaboration among member states to help ease the suffering of persons displaced by worsening humanitarian crisis in West Africa.

The Commissioner, Human Development and Social Affairs, ECOWAS, Prof. Fatou Sarr made the call on Tuesday while addressing representatives of member states at the opening of a three day workshop on ECOWAS Response to Persons of Concern (PoCs-IDPs, Refugees, Returnees, Stateless People, Asylum Seekers and their Host Communities holding in Abuja

Sarr who was represented by the Director Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Dr. Sintiki Ugbe said: “In 2024, the data and information collated from the region, have shown that population displacement resulting from varied humanitarian events, especially conflicts, have contributed enormously to the worsening of the humanitarian situation.

She noted that: “Key figures shared by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on displacement as of December 2023 show that 6,919,306 are forcibly displaced of which 6,284,384 are IDPs, 634,922 are Refugees & Asylums seekers. UNHCR 2024 report, has put the figures of stateless population in the region at over 931,000.”

On tackling the worsening situation, she said: “In response to the increasing humanitarian events in the region, the ECOWAS Commission has constantly developed and reviewed its strategies in collaboration with member states and relevant partners in line with its principal mandate of assisting member states to reduce the suffering of populations affected by humanitarian emergencies and affected communities.

“In this regard, the Humanitarian and Social Affairs Directorate has developed an inclusive strategy where member states and relevant partners determine the humanitarian needs of our populations as well as the affected communities.

“This gives ownership to the member states and affords ECOWAS the opportunity to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the assistance to the utmost benefit of the affected communities and populations.”

She also noted that, “the workshop will focus majorly on addressing the impact of displacement and related humanitarian events on refugees, IDPs, migrants, asylum seekers and stateless persons as well as host communities in 2024.

“Other factors such as food and nutrition crisis and the prospects in the coming months and expected mortality rate, etc. have also formed the core reasons for ECOWAS’ decision to respond to these segments of the population in need.”

According to her, other aims of the workshop are; “The overall objective of this workshop is to come up with appropriate data and information on the needs of populations affected by the identified challenges to further close the response gaps and reduce humanitarian sufferings which if sustained will ultimately close the gap in Humanitarian Development Peace nexus.”

She urged the participants to commit to the nine humanitarian standards as they deliberate on how best to solve humanitarian crisis in the West African subregion; “Can exercise their rights and participate in actions and decisions that affect them., Access timely and effective support in accordance with their specific needs and priorities. Are better prepared and more resilient to potential crises., Access support that does not cause harm to people or the environment.”

“And, can safely report concerns and complaints and get them addressed., Access coordinated and complementary support.

Others are: Access support that is continually adapted and improved based on feedback and learning., Interact with staff and volunteers that are respectful, competent and well-managed., And Can expect that resources are managed ethically and responsibly.”

She explained that the workshop is aimed at adopting the humanitarian needs assessment for the assistance of PoCs, IDPs, Refugees, Returnees, Stateless People, Asylum Seekers, and their Host Communities in Member States.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Abel Enitan, in his welcome address stated that, “In 2023, the challenges facing West Africa led to an estimated 64.5 million individuals requiring assistance and protection in the region.

Enitan, who was represented by the Director Humanitarian Affairs in the Ministry, Mr. Valentine Ezulu, said: “Today, we continue to witness severe humanitarian crises exacerbated by conflicts, lack of basic services, and the escalating impacts of climate change.

“As we gather here, it is crucial to recognise the pressing need to address the unprecedented levels of food insecurity, displacement and the urgent response required from each member state.”

He applauded the ECOWAS initiative for supporting member states disaster management agencies, noting that the Commission’s initiative to support national responses underscores the importance of validating baseline data on the humanitarian needs of IDPs, refugees, returnees, stateless persons, asylum seekers, and their host communities. This workshop aims to provide a platform for collaborative efforts in mitigating the immediate and medium-term effects on displaced populations across our region.

He also stated that, “in light of the prevailing challenges, characterised by violence, insecurity, armed conflicts, natural disasters and governance issues, it is evident that our region is facing deepening humanitarian crises.”

He said: “As we proceed with the needs analysis, we must prioritise humanitarian access as a critical lifeline for those ensnared in conflict zones, and emphasise the necessity of protection and assistance for all affected individuals. Our actions must be informed by accurate data and a commitment to inclusivity, while acknowledging the persistent gaps despite ongoing efforts by Member States and partners. The urgency of our collective response is paramount to offer comprehensive support to all persons of concern and their host communities, leaving no one behind.”

“The Federal Government of Nigeria underscores this commitment through its ratification of the Kampala Convention and the launch of the National Policy on Internally Displaced Persons in 2022. This policy provides a robust framework for addressing all facets of internal displacement and emphasizes government’s duty to protect and promote the rights of IDPs, returnees, and host communities.” He added

He said “As a nation, Nigeria continues to open its heart and borders, offering international protection to those in need, in line with the ethos of the 1951 Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. Most importantly, we are committed towards the implementation of all the pledges made towards the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) at the last Global Refugees Forum. However, the journey is far from complete. The lingering gaps in our relief efforts, especially in combating hunger, malnutrition, Parig the shortage of essential non-food items, highlight the ongoing struggle of those affected by displacement.”

ECOWAS Calls For Improved Collaboration to Curb Worsening Humanitarian Crisis In West Africa

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Kare-Kare Association inaugurates new executive in Nangere

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Kare-Kare Association inaugurates new executive in Nangere

Yahaya Wakili

Karai-karai Association Mayinakara Gamataka Nangere local government chapter Yobe state has today inaugurated its executives at the Emir of Tikau place, Sabon Gari.

Speaking at the occasion, the State Chairman Mayinakara, Alhaji Shu’aibu Shansi, thanked His Royal Highness, the emir of Tikau, Alhaji Dr Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema LLD, for the support and cooperation he extended to the association.

He said during the Eid-el-kabir Sallah, by the grace of God, we are going to organize a one-week culture at this place and pray to Almighty Allah (SWT) to upgrade all Karai-karai tribes in the world.

Also speaking, a chieftain in the association, Alhaji Yunusa Yuguda, Jagaba of Fika, said people should know that this occasion is not for the APC, PDP, or any political party; this is for Karai-karai only. If you are from any political party, you can attend the event.

He said our people are ignorant of something; if there is such an event, they will not come or show up because there is a fear of victimization from their political leaders. He added that this association, Mayinakara, is not a political party and is only to unite all karai-karai tribes in every part of the world.

Hon. Halilu Abubakar Mazagane, a member contesting the seat for Yobe South Senatorial District under the PDP in the 2023 general election, said that this association of Mayinakara was established because of me, because I enjoy the impact of the association; it works tirelessly on me.

“I want all that will happen in Nigeria; I want to include Karai-Karai inside and call on Karai-Karai those who have positions in government; if the son of Karai-Karai gets admission and he doesn’t have money to pay the school fees, please pay it for him.” Mazagane added.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Caretaker Management Committee of Nangere local government, Hon. Salisu Yarima, said we are here all on behalf of the Karai-Karai tribe; let us unite ourselves and speak with one voice.

Salisu Yarima urges all karai-karai leaders, or Mayinakara, to embrace the love of each other and call on all media houses in Nigeria and the world at large to publicize the karai-karai tribe in the world.

In his closing remarks, Nangere local government Mayinakara Patron, Alhaji Adamu Chillariye, said that everywhere karai-karai is a karai-karai, you can’t change your tribe; everybody is answering his tribe name, but to my surprise, a karai-karai man doesn’t want to answer his own.

Adding that, may be he fills shame on it; I don’t know; you can’t change your tribe; this is how God made you. He called on those involved in such an attitude to stop it. Adding to that, Mbeno is a mother and the head of organizations, but they left it behind; therefore, he urged them to revive it.

The state chairman, Alhaji Shu’aibu Shansi, further inaugurated the executives of the of the Mayinakara Gamataka Nangere local government chapter, with Dauda Muhammed Nangere as chairman, Yakubu Auta Degubi as secretary,  and Audu Ibrahim Dinda as treasurer.

Kare-Kare Association inaugurates new executive in Nangere

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Women Face the Toughest Hurdles in Northeast Nigeria

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Women Face the Toughest Hurdles in Northeast Nigeria

By: Chi Lael and Dr. Kelechi Onyemaobi
 
Aisha and her eight children have spent the last three months hiding in the bush in northeast Nigeria. Her husband was killed last year, shot by members of Boko Haram. Aisha managed to escape. “We ran into the forest,” said Aisha, “me and my eight children. We stayed there for three months. Every day, I would look for firewood and risk taking it to town to sell, so I could feed my children.”
 
Aisha and her children were eventually taken in by a kind family who they still live with. They are amongst the one million people being helped by WFP as food insecurity in northeast Nigeria. “I really appreciate this food. If we didn’t have it, my children would go out to beg around the community,” said Aisha.
 
Tragically this crisis is not the result of a drought, but conflict that has been spreading through the region during the last decade. It is estimated that more than 30,000 people have been killed in the fighting – and Aisha’s husband is just one of them. The state of Yobe – where Aisha lives – Adamawa and Borno, have borne the brunt. The seemingly bucolic idyll – the camels grazing by the side of the road, the ox-carts ferrying goods for sale – belie the underlying atmosphere of fear.
 
Nor is Aisha alone in her plight: one in four women in northeast Nigeria are now widows as a result of the conflict, leaving many of these families to suffer from the absence of their fathers and husbands.
 
Added to this, an estimated 2.1 million people have also had to flee their homes, which in a largely agrarian community severely increases the threat of hunger. If people can’t grow food, work their land, then they risk starving.
 
Ya Kaka, 25, and her children also receive support from WFP with funding from the European Union (EU). But she is a victim of another aspect of the conflict – forced marriage. When she was 18, Ya Kaka was kidnapped by insurgents to become a ‘bride’ for a soldier – however, Ya Kaka was already married, with children. After three years – having given birth to a baby in captivity – Ya Kaka finally managed to escape and return home. 
 
“I was always scared that I might get caught. But one day, I woke up and decided to escape. I was ready to do whatever it would take,” she said. 
 
Unfortunately, when she returned, Ya Kaka’s first husband rejected her and her new baby because she’d been married – albeit as a kidnap victim – to another man.  Now Ya Kaka lives, with four children, in the village of Kukareta, near Damaturu, only able to feed them with the food she receives from WFP.  “I’m hoping and praying to God to take away all my pains, I want to forget all I’ve gone through or all that I’m always thinking about,” said Ya Kaka.
 
Almost 5 million people currently suffering acute food insecurity in need of urgent assistance in the conflict-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. WFP is supporting up to 1 million people with emergency food and nutrition assistance for children, supported by its donors including the EU.

Chi Lael and Dr. Kelechi Onyemaobi work for the United Nations World Food Programme, the
world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change. They can be reached via email at Chi.Lael@wfp.org and Kelechi.Onyemaobi@wfp.org

Women Face the Toughest Hurdles in Northeast Nigeria

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Eid: Tuggar tasks Muslims to remain resilient, pray for peace

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Eid: Tuggar tasks Muslims to remain resilient, pray for peace

By: Michael Mike

The Minsiter of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar has tasked the Muslim Ummah all over the world to remain resilient in the face of global challenges.

He made the call in his Eid message to Muslims.

He said amidst the Eid celebrations, adherents of the Islamic faith should reflect on the sacrifices and lessons of the concluded month of Ramadan for guidance.

He enjoined the Muslim Ummah to pray for the country and the success of the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu to bequeath dividends of governance to the entirety of the Nigerian nation.

He further added that adherents should pray for lasting peace in the country and regions plagued by strife and wars across the world.

Eid: Tuggar tasks Muslims to remain resilient, pray for peace

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