Women in Humanitarian Response Initiative Marks World Humanitarian Day 2019

Women in Humanitarian Response in Nigeria Initiative (WiHRiN) on Monday, joined the global community to celebrate the millions of people who toil, advocate and support humanitarian actions to crisis affected populations globally.

In a statement signed by Ms. Mimidoo Achakpa, National Co-ordinator/ convener and Nkese Maria Udongwo convener and obtained by The Sight News, the Initiative expressed gladness that the theme of this year’s celebration honours “Women Humanitarian”. 

According to them, “This is a very worthy theme and long due, as women are generally the first responders during humanitarian crisis, risking their very lives to assist children, the elderly, neighbours other vulnerable groups; are being globally recognised and celebrated in the 2019 World Humanitarian Day celebration, The importance of the role of women-led humanitarian action cannot be overemphasized. 

“We want to especially, appreciate the efforts of women humanitarian actors in Nigeria who have toiled tirelessly behind the scenes to bring succour and humanitarian assistance to crisis affected populations. We remember today with sorrow, the humanitarian workers who have paid the ultimate price with their lives in the line of duty, especially the 37 Aid workers who have lost their lives in Northeast Nigeria among whom are women humanitarian: Hauwa Mohammed Liman, Saifura Hassaini Ahmed Khorsa and Faye Mooney; the women who lost their lives in the North central Nigeria as a result of the farmer/herder conflict and indeed all other forms of crisis across Nigeria; may they all rest in peace.

“We also remember the courageous members of the Nigerian Armed Forces who have lost their lives while protecting conflict affected populations and keeping the environment accessible for humanitarian aid/assistance. We pray God to grant their families and loved ones the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.

“We remember today the 35,000 Nigerians who have lost their lives between 2009 and 2019 in the ongoing Northeast crisis, and the many more thousands of people who have lost their lives as a result of conflicts, natural disasters and other humanitarian crisis all over Nigeria. May their souls rest in peace”.

Furthermore, the Initiative took the day to celebrate Nigeria’s emergency response mechanism and teams headed at the National level by North East Development Commission, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and their counterparts in the 36 states of the federation including Abuja for living up to the mandate of their establishments in ensuring that victims of communal clashes, floods, insurgency and war are promptly relocated and humanitarian aid assistance and shelter provided including food and clothing. 

“We join the world to say thank you and encourage you to do more as your labour of love will neither go unrecognised nor unrewarded”, they said. 

They also used the opportunity to call the attention of Nigeria’s 9th National Assembly and its States counterparts to increase the resources available for humanitarian aid assistance, adding  that Nigerians everywhere in the world should take for granted that they will be taken care of by the state if they became victims of humanitarian crisis.

WiHRiN frowned at the continued infrastructural deficits in the country that has made more Nigerians vulnerable to natural disasters thereby requiring humanitarian assistance and called on the 9th National Assembly to increase the infrastructure budget for the benefit of ordinary Nigerian citizens. 

They said, “We lend our voice to the national call of Nigerian security apparatus, including the armed forces, Airforce, Navy, The Nigerian Police Service and Civil Defence & Security Agency to work in synergy and share ideas, programs and projects to avoid working at cross purposes for the good of Nigeria and Nigerians”. 

Women in Humanitarian Response in Nigeria Initiative (WiHRiN) is a platform for Women headed/ women led civil society organisations (CSOs), providing humanitarian assistance in Nigeria. 

WiHRiN was established in April 2019, following the need to recognise the important role women play and the unique perspective they bring in delivering humanitarian assistance, especially to women and children, all over Nigeria.

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