It is a welcome development that President Muhammadu Buhari created
the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster
Management and Social Development, headed by Hajia
Sadiya Umar-Farouq to provide solutions to the
plight of millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
as well as coordinate humanitarian affairs and
social development in the country.
The country, in the last 10 years, has been in the throes of
insurgency in the North-East, especially in Borno,
Adamawa and Yobe States. This insurgency has created
a lot of social dislocation and millions of IDPs.
According to an August 2019 report from Médecins
Sans Frontières, (Doctors without Borders), “It is
estimated that about 35,000 people have been killed
since 2009, 1.8 million people are internally
displaced, and 7.1 million people are in need of
humanitarian assistance across the north-eastern
states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. Around 230,000
people have fled to the neighbouring countries of
Niger, Chad and Cameroon”.
The Hon Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq, an experienced past Federal
Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees,
Migrants and Internally Displaced Person is well
positioned to address the challenges of the
Ministry’s enormous task ahead by constituting the
core team she would work with and establishing their
presence strongly for direct and immediate impact
across the states.
Towards rebuilding the North East, President Muhammadu Buhari
encouraged the World Bank in partnership with the
European Union, philanthropists and other foreign
organizations interested in rebuilding the North
East to be more committed to erecting structures and
physical presence in those areas to aid the smooth
and effective returning of displaced persons to
their settlements. Rather than giving out cash and
other monetary gifts which over time has been
reported that the displaced persons and supposed
beneficiaries of humanitarian crisis and disaster
issues often find it difficult to receive these aids
and donations from individuals and organizations
because of some atrocities committed by those
responsible for the management of those resources
such as food, water and clothing.
Things are sometimes easy to destroy than to rebuild, this is the
current situation of the North East in Nigeria.
Rebuilding the North East remains a huge project to
be completed but it is possible with the efforts of
the government, the people and international
organizations committed to making this happen. The
creation of a ministry to take care of humanitarian
affairs, disaster management and social development
has thus made the pathway for the rebuilding of the
North-East much more visible as there would be more
accountability and responsibility for actors and
non-actors towards humanitarian issues in Nigeria.