By Emmanuel Afonne
The Federal Government has inaugurated a 128-member committee to drive the National Localisation Framework and ensure effective and efficient humanitarian response in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the members of the committee were picked from different Non-Governmental Organisations, Civil Society Organisations and other government donors and partners from the six geo-political zones of the country.
Mrs Olusola Idowu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, who inaugurated the Localisation Working Group (LWG), on Wednesday in Abuja, charged them to ensure their activities were locally driven to foster development.
Idowu, represented by Mrs Elizabeth Egharevba, Director, International Cooperation, said the government was already collaborating with donors, development partners as well as local and international non-governmental organisations to ensure operational change for humanitarian response in the country.
“With the current humanitarian crisis facing the country and influx of international organisations supporting us, localisation agenda has become imperative and provides the unique opportunity for the nexus of humanitarian, peace building and development efforts.
“You will recall that during the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, the Grand Bargain on improving humanitarian efficiency and effectiveness was launched and was subsequently endorsed by more than 50 donors and aid organisations.
“Ten work streams commitments were agreed to lead the work and in a bid to operationalise these commitments, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), supported the implementation of Accelerating Localisation Through Partnership (ALTP), programme in four countries.
“The programme was activated in Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria and South Sudan by a consortium of Christian Aid (as the lead), CARE, Tearfund, ActionAid, CAFOD and Oxfam.
“The programme aims to accelerate localisation through the strengthening of local and national leadership of humanitarian response; it focuses on operational change for humanitarian response over the identified time frame and beyond,” Idowu said.
The permanent secretary added that on the long run, the programme was expected to help identify capacity, funding and coordination needs of local and national NGOs as well as proffer solutions to the identified gaps.
Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, represented by Mr Charles Anaelo, a Deputy Director in the ministry, said government was doing everything possible to ensure sustainability.
“It is important to note that the ministry focuses at ensuring grassroots mobilisation so that the response will get to all nooks and crannies.
“This programme is not focused on a specific area or geopolitical zone of crisis, but every aspect of Nigeria where there are humanitarian issues.
“We believe that this platform being set up is one of the veritable ways of creating strategic roadmap for exit plan for international partners and donors so that, with or without them, we will have a framework of operation.
“Under the ministry, we have NEMA, we have Refugees Commission, NAPTIP and SDGs, but beyond that in terms of information, we are collaborating with the National Orientation Agency in all the LGAs in the country to ensure proper mobilisation.
“So, we are coordinating other partners and key stakeholders to ensure we deliver as one and the sustainability depends on government apparatus and administrative process and that is why partnership and collaboration is key to sustainability,” Farouq said.
Mrs Mimidoo Achakpa, Coordinator, Women in Humanitarian Response in Nigeria Initiative, who spoke on behalf of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), said they had been working on the programme for two years now.
“For us as CSOs, we have embraced the localisation agenda in Nigeria and on behalf of my colleagues in other geopolitical zones represented in the LWG we are going to domesticate this localisation agenda.
“For every activity that we plant, we must ensure that localisation agenda will definitely be part of the activities and we will spread the word in different networks we have because localisation cuts across every sphere of life, not only humanitarian,” she said.
NAN also reports that a document containing the operational framework for local and international NGOs in the country was also unveiled at the programme.(NAN)