Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The federal government and the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) have agreed to deepen their collaboration in the areas of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development.
The understanding was sealed yesterday at a meeting in Abuja between the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, and the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Fahad Obaid Al Taffaq.
Farouq appealed to the UAE Government to assist the ministry with technical support towards actualising its core component mandates of humanitarian intervention, disaster management as well as social development.
She said: “We also need support in the area of empowerment of our displaced and vulnerable population in the society.”
Farouq emphasised that the Social Intervention Programme (SIP) of the federal government has four thematic areas such as the School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer, N-Power programme and
Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), and they are open for collaboration with partners.
In his response, Al-Taffaq, who said his mission to the ministry was to explore more avenues of collaboration, stated that the UAE embassy Nigeria has executed several programmes and has impacted more than 22,000 lives.
“In October 2019, the embassy established $2 million programme for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Katsina State, and it was planned, funded and implemented in Daura and other areas in the state. The plan was to upgrade the equipment in the primary health centres to tackle eye diseases, glaucoma and cataracts. We have also started the programme with this initiative to train eye doctors, ophthalmologists and optometrists.
“We anticipate the initiative to impact more than 7.8 million people in the North who are suffering from eye diseases. I hope also that we can do similar programmes with the ministry by identifying the needs of each component of the ministry and how we can collaborate,” Al-Taffaq said.