It is my pleasure and delight to join the global disaster management family in marking the 2021 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.
As many of us here might be aware, 13th October of every year has been set aside by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) since 1989 to acknowledge the progress being made toward Reducing Disaster Risks and loss of lives, livelihoods and assets. This is in view of promoting a global culture of risk awareness and to safeguard lives and livelihoods.
For the past five years, the theme of the celebration has been chosen to reflect appropriately, the seven targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015 – 2030). The year 2021 reflects the 6th target of the Framework which calls for “International Cooperation for Developing Countries to Reduce Their Disaster Risk and Disaster Losses’’.
As disaster management is everybody’s business, the theme is apt and germane to inspire and elicit cooperation from developed countries, international organizations, development partners and donor agencies around the world. This is to demonstrate and create widespread support for disaster risk reduction. Achieving this also requires mobilization of a greater and more active global citizenship to support developing countries to meet all the seven (7) targets and the four (4) priority areas of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which will come to an end by 2030.
In Nigeria, the scope, dynamics and complexity of disaster risks is on the increase, considering the recurrence of extreme hydro-meteorological events, land use conflict trends, insurgency and banditry amongst others. This is occurring within the global context of a climate change and economic downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, through its disaster risk reduction operations agency, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is working on reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience of the country’s most vulnerable, using disaster risk reduction tools and strategies to strengthen governance and social protection systems. Thus far, we have implemented and adopted the following best practices:
– The development of a decentralized institutional frameworks at the local, state (sub national) and federal (national) level.
– The creation of multi-hazard contingency and operational plans and policies, such as the 2019 National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy.
– The application of a humanitarian, peace, development approach with emphasis on disaster risk reduction, reducing vulnerabilities and addressing exposure and
– Mainstreaming climate change adaptation in Disaster Risk Reduction.
Since the establishment of Disaster Risk Reduction department in NEMA about 10 years ago, the Agency has created synergy and enjoyed cordial relationship with organizations like UN in Nigeria (the UN Disaster Risk Reduction Regional Office), the African Union, ECOWAS, UNESCO , the Islamic Development Bank and countries providing support though their respective Missions for their unwavering support, amongst others.
One of our recent collaborations with UNICEF and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has enabled us to develop a comprehensive risk mapping of the country which focuses on flood, epidemic and conflict risks at the communal level. The findings from this exercise will soon be unveiled and shall assist in strategic planning, program development and implementation. We will therefore be calling on our partners soon to key into this.
I will also like to use this opportunity to call for increased international partnerships and cooperation to reduce disaster risks and losses in Nigeria as well as accelerate efforts to build-back-better in the most affected areas of the country. As such, there is need for partnership towards disaster risk reduction analyses, program planning, design and implementation, investments in early warning mechanisms and building sustainable infrastructure to enhance operational service delivery. We also need support towards attaining the seven targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, in line with the African Union Regional Strategy and our national agenda and policy direction of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.
Thank you all and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.