The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs was created in 2019 to oversee the government’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance, manage disasters, alleviate poverty and promote social inclusion.
Through its many agencies and programs, the Ministry aims to strengthen Nigeria’s emergency response, provide relief for vulnerable groups, and foster sustainable community development. Get ready to learn all about this crucial organization and its mission to build a safer, fairer, and more prosperous Nigeria for all.
An Overview of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation, is a Nigerian ministry tasked with developing humanitarian policy and coordinating national and international humanitarian interventions. It was founded on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, by an Executive Proclamation issued by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, during the inauguration of Ministers for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Ministry aims to prevent loss of life and alleviate suffering during crises. It provides temporary shelter, healthcare, food, and water to vulnerable groups like internally displaced persons. It also works to reunite separated families and protect vulnerable groups like women, children, the elderly and disabled.
To strengthen disaster preparedness, the Ministry trains emergency responders to help states develop emergency plans and pre-position supplies in strategic locations. It strives to build resilience against disasters through public awareness campaigns on health, safety, and risk reduction.
The Ministry’s Department of Social Development develops and implements policies and programs to empower disadvantaged groups, including people with disabilities. It also protects the welfare of children, youth, and the elderly through initiatives like school feeding programs, skills training for at-risk youth, and support for the elderly.
By promptly responding to emergencies, empowering vulnerable groups, and boosting resilience, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation helps create a safer, more just society where the basic needs of all citizens are met. Its vision is a Nigeria where no one is left behind in times of crisis.
Who Heads the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation?
It is led by a Minister appointed by the President, and a Permanent Secretary assists the Minister. On August 24, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, swore in Dr. Sadiya Umar Farouq as Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, with Dr. (Mrs) Bashir Nura Alkali FCA, FCIT as the Ministry’s permanent secretary.
Dr Betta Edu was sworn in as the new Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in August 2023 by President Bola Tinubu. The permanent secretary of this ministry is Abel Olumuyiwa Enitan.
Some of her responsibilities include:
- Overseeing the distribution of relief materials to victims of disasters
- Coordinating humanitarian interventions during emergencies like floods, fire outbreaks, etc.
- Supervising social protection programs like conditional cash transfers, school feeding programs, etc.
- Liaising with donor agencies and development partners on interventions for vulnerable groups
- Ensuring effective utilization of resources allocated to the humanitarian Ministry
With its broad mandate, the Ministry aims to strengthen humanitarian coordination, improve emergency response capabilities, and promote long-term social development across Nigeria. By working closely with relevant stakeholders, the Ministry hopes to build a safer, sustainable, and equitable society for all.
Agencies Under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation, oversees several important agencies, which include the following:
National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)
NEMA is responsible for coordinating responses to disasters and humanitarian crises in Nigeria. It aims to reduce the impact of disasters through prevention, mitigation, and preparedness activities.
National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI)
NCFRMI protects the rights of refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people. It provides humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter, and medical care to vulnerable groups.
National Senior Citizens Centre
The National Senior Citizen Centre (NSCC) is a Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation, disaster management, and social development in Nigeria. In accordance with Section 16(2)(d) of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, President Muhamadu Buhari approved the establishment of the NSCC. This Constitutional Amendment requires all states to provide adequate social assistance to the aged in society, as well as to improve their quality of life as senior citizens.
National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons
The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), formerly known as the National Commission for Refugees (NCFR), is a Federal Government of Nigeria agency established by Decree 52 of 1989 (now Cap. N21, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004) to manage the affairs of refugees, migrants, and internally displaced persons in Nigeria. The organization is one of six that report to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation, Disaster Management, and Social Development. A Federal Commissioner presides over it.
National Agency for Prohibition and Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP)
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is a Federal Government of Nigeria law enforcement agency established on July 14, 2003, by the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act of 2003 to combat human trafficking and other similar human rights violations.
North East Development Commission (NEDC)
The NEDC leads recovery and development efforts in northeast Nigeria, which has been devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency. It focuses on peacebuilding, reconstruction, and rehabilitation in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe States.
These six agencies are also responsible for a variety of programs and units. The National Social Investment Office, for example, oversees four programs, which are:
- Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP)
- Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT)
- Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP)
Key Responsibilities and Objectives
As the lead agency for humanitarian affairs, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation, has several key responsibilities and objectives:
The Ministry coordinates humanitarian interventions, including facilitating strategic partnerships with local and international humanitarian actors. It also ensures proper coordination of disaster management activities across Nigeria through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and relevant stakeholders.
The Ministry formulates and implements policies, strategies, and programs on humanitarian assistance, disaster risk reduction, disaster management, and social development. This includes developing a national policy on internally displaced persons (IDPs) to protect, assist, and provide durable solutions for IDPs in Nigeria.
The Ministry mobilizes resources from government, private sector, and development partners to support humanitarian and disaster management efforts. This includes establishing a national humanitarian fund and social intervention programs fund.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Ministry monitors, evaluates, and reports on the impact and effectiveness of all humanitarian, disaster management, and social intervention activities and programs across Nigeria.
Research and Data Management
The Ministry undertakes research and manages data on humanitarian affairs, disaster management, social development, and vulnerable groups to inform evidence-based policies and strengthen coordination and interventions.
Advocacy and Public Awareness
The Ministry creates awareness and sensitizes stakeholders and the public on humanitarian affairs, disaster risk reduction, and social development issues in Nigeria.
The Ministry fosters strategic partnerships and alliances with international organizations and friendly countries on humanitarian affairs, disaster management, and social development.
How Can I Get Involved or Volunteer?
The Ministry offers volunteer opportunities for those interested in humanitarian work, disaster response, or social causes. Volunteers can apply on the Ministry website and will go through an orientation and training program. Volunteers assist with activities like:
- Distributing relief materials
- Community outreach and sensitization
- Administering aid programs
Volunteering with the Ministry is a great way for citizens to support important work happening in communities across Nigeria.
Contact Information of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation
Ministry Address: Phase 1, 6th Floor, Federal Secretariat Complex, Shehu Shagari Way, Central Area, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone Numbers: 08024175445, 08028216336, 080131638164
Twitter Handle: @FMHDSD
So there you have it, a quick overview of the key responsibilities and activities of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation. As you can see, this Ministry plays a vital role in coordinating and overseeing humanitarian relief efforts, disaster management activities, and various social development programs across Nigeria.
Their wide range of initiatives aims to support vulnerable groups, including refugees, internally displaced persons, older persons, persons with disabilities, children, youth, and women. Overall, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and Poverty Alleviation is working hard to build a safer, more equitable, and prosperous nation for all.