The Women in Humanitarian Response in Nigeria Initiative (WiHRiNI), has lauded the federal government’s Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme, and the release of 46,000 metric tons of rice, 36,495 kegs of vegetable oil, and other items valued at N3.2 billion by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians in the wake of covid-19 pandemic.
Its Coordinator, Mimidoo Achakpa in a statement signed by the network in Abuja however called for urgent need for food and essential commodities drive for the indigent IDP shelters and host communities across the nation.
According to the statement, as contained in the Humanitarian Response Strategy for Nigeria 2019-2021, an estimated 7.1 million people affected by conflicts are in acute need of food, protection and life-saving assistance, adding that this is further worsened by coronavirus.
The statement recalled that before the lockdown order by President Muhammadu Buhari, the FCT Administration had stopped commercial cyclists(OKADA) and trycyclists(KEKE) from operating in the metropolis; forcing indigent men to petty trading to cater for their families.
“The total lockdown has further dashed the hope for survival for these indigents; especially when even average Nigerians who can boast of decent living are lamenting the effects of the lockdown on their sustenance, the present condition of IDPs and other persons in need can only be imagined.
“We commend the steps taken by the Federal Government of Nigeria to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians in this trying moment; through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development,
“While it is undisputable that these relief packages can alleviate the sufferings of persons during the lockdown, majority of citizens in vulnerable conditions are bearing the brunt of this lockdown, and many have expressed fear that their daily sustenance is threatened if the lockdowns extends beyond its initial timeframe.
“Most of these IDPs are living in squalid conditions, and even those who have managed to return home in conflict zones across the country have no access to basic amenities such as adequate water supply and food.
“What hope lies for the IDP’s across the country who desperately needs such interventions?
We hereby wish to draw the attention of federal government of Nigeria and the public attention to those vulnerable groups who really needs the relief at this dire moment of this pandemic,” the statement stressed
It further noted that coronavirus pandemic has caused fear and anxiety amongst all but more of economic hardship for majority of Nigerians who live through the days by daily earning.
“This situation has major adverse effect on Internally Displaced People across the country and in particular those residing in unrecognised/unregistered camps further reducing the dignity of indigent women, men and children, hampering their already limited access to vital resources including food, water.
“While the IDP’s depend on interventions from government, INGOs NGO’s etc and other philanthropists some of them, mostly the men take up jobs including hawking and other menial jobs to at least always have food to eat to meet their basic obligations especially for those with their families.
“The women on the other hand, suffer increased human rights abuse as they are faced pressure such as demand for sex for food and other legitimate amenities and also have other responsibilities to cater to like children’s, education, health suffer from other to mention a few.
“We appeal to the federal government to prioritize distributing relief to the IDP’s even as we call for immediate assistance of food items and other relief materials to them, in the instance of this lock down and no access to menial jobs that some of them engage in,” it added.
WiHRiNI is a network of women leaders and women headed NGOs involved in humanitarian response in Nigeria. The platform was created to bring together women humanitarian leaders involved in humanitarian/emergency response to enhance strategic collaborations and information sharing for an effective, better coordinated, timely and principled humanitarian response in Nigeria.
The network consists of: Women’s Right to Education Programme (WREP),Oasis Restoration Foundation, WANEP-Nigeria,
Kebetkache Women Development Centre
Gender and Environmental Risk Reduction Initiative,FOMWAN, Gender Equality, Peace and Development Centre, Allamin Foundation for Peace and Development and the IANSA Women Network Nigeria.