The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Safiya Umar Farouq has announced the temporary lifting of the suspensions of the two international humanitarian organizations, Mercy Corps and Action Against Hunger working in the North East.
The minister, who announced the temporary lifting during a press conference, said “the government is concerned about the counter-terrorism efforts and all measures must be in place to support the efforts of the government to end the conflict in the North East.”
She added that the concern and recommendations of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) to look into the activities of the humanitarian organizations would continue to receive attention and scrutiny in order to address the issues raised and also to make the relevant agencies comply with the recommendations.
Hajiya Farouq said the temporary lifting became imperative based on the 7-point agenda proposed by the United Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon, who earlier paid a visit to the minister.
“The 7-point agenda would strengthen coordination and partnership between the humanitarian community and the government of Nigeria in the North East.
“Therefore as a responsive government we take into consideration the planned civil-military coordination workshop in Maiduguri by our ministry and other stakeholders, these values would address through the 7-point agenda mechanism.
In his submission, United Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon thanked the Federal Government for the mutual relationship and co-operations.
The Nigerian Army suspended Mercy Corps over the suspicious N29million cash found in their operations vehicle in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State.
While Action of Hunger was suspended by the same military after they accused the NGO of supplying ISWAP with food and drugs.
The Proposed 7-Point Agenda
- Establishment of a high-level Policy Forum on Humanitarian Assistant in Northern Eastern Nigeria by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development at the federal level to discuss and resolve all emerging issues with the Humanitarian Response in the North East.
- Vetting and due diligence of all humanitarian vendors in Northeast Nigeria to be conducted by the government of Nigeria before engagement by humanitarian actors.
- Clearance and registration of all NGOs by the government of Nigeria before deployment and engagement in humanitarian activities in Nigeria.
- Transportation and allocation of fuel and other sensitive humanitarian commodities including fertilisers to humanitarian actors in the field by government approved vendors and providers in Northeast Nigeria.
- Submission of monthly reports on humanitarian activities including funding received and source of funding, project activities funded and location, number of people assisted to the government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
- Review and strengthening civil-military coordination and existing systems at both Maiduguri and Abuja level.
- Development and approval of a cash transfer policy for humanitarian assistance in Northeast Nigerian with the laws of the government of Nigeria.