Amid the ongoing ASUU strike which has kept University students at home for over three months, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday pledged $3 million for the take off of the African Union Humanitarian Agency, set up to address the suffering of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Africa.
Buhari made this pledge at 16th African Union Extra-ordinary Session of Assembly of Heads of State and Government on Humanitarian Crises in African and Pledging Conference, holding in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Garba Shehu, the president’s media aide in a statement on Friday, said the Nigerian leader said that more than five million people have been displaced in the Lake Chad region, with 70 per cent of them mostly Nigerians.
He maintained that the violent onslaught by Boko Haram insurgents on the North East of Nigeria had led to humanitarian crises, noting that “We cannot deny the fact that we have a very dangerous humanitarian crisis in our hands.”
Buhari noted that the humanitarian crisis in the country had necessitated the creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, which was designed to provide a national response strategy.
The president said the ministry had broadened its scope of operations by caring for deprived school children in the country, and “carries out a compulsory school feeding programme in primary schools across the country.”
The president welcomed the establishment of the African Union Humanitarian Agency to cater for the growing needs of displaced persons and refugees.
AU chairman and president of Senegal, Macky Sall, pledged $3 million on behalf of his country, and urged other African leaders to contribute to the establishment of the agency.
He said the rising challenges of climate change, natural disasters and terrorism had made it mandatory to set up an agency that would meet the needs of displaced Africans.
President of the host country, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, pledged $4 million, out of which $2 million would go to the new agency and $2 million would go to Mozambique.