The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHDSD) was established in 2019 as a special intervention ministry for humanitarian affairs, management of disasters and social interventions.
It was created on August 21, 2019 with a mandate to: develop humanitarian policies and provide effective coordination of national and international humanitarian interventions, ensure strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness and response, and manage the formulation and implementation of equity focused social inclusion and protection programmes in Nigeria.
Headed by Honourable Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq, it is at the forefront of the COVID-19 intervention as the ministry saddled with providing palliatives to poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
Here are 13 other things you didn’t know about the ministry.
1. To concentrate efforts in tackling COVID-19, the Ministry inaugurated its Technical Working Group on March 27, 2020. The TWG will complement efforts of the Presidential Task Force, which is in charge of coordinating efforts in the fight against COVID-19. The mandate of the TWG is four fold – Social Interventions, Humanitarian Interventions, Advocacy and Sensitisation, as well as Monitoring and Evaluation.
2. The Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq has made a pledge that all poor and vulnerable Nigerians will be impacted positively: “I want to assure Nigerians that we are focused, equipped and ready to deliver, in a transparent and rapid manner, palliatives that will help our vulnerable populations deal with the shocks brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We solicit the support of Nigerians as we set about the task of delivering on this pressing assignment.”
3. The Ministry has solicited the commitment of the Social Protection Donor Group to secure funding for up to $1billion for the COVID-19 shock response social safety nets in line with its humanitarian, disaster management and social intervention mandate.
4. The Ministry is working with the National Social Investment Programmes and Sustainable Development Goals to take action on Sustaining Social Interventions during this emergency. It is also collaborating with the National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficked Persons in providing social protection for the vulnerable.
5. The Ministry, using the National Social Register, made up of 2,644,495 poor and vulnerable households, had paid 537,886 beneficiaries existing on the national social register, a two-month advance payment of N20,000 as directed by Mr. President. Further, to the directive of the President, the Ministry through the National Social Safety Nets Programme has been actively rapidly expanding the National Social Register, and a specialised COVID-19 Shock Responsive register to complement existing Conditional Cash Transfer of Government for vulnerable and/or at-risk population (non-traditional groups) who will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
6. Following the Presidential directive, the Ministry has granted a three-month moratorium to 1,794,633 Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme beneficiaries and initiated the Conditional Cash Transfer to 453,744 poor and vulnerable households in 24 states plus the FCT since April 1, 2020.
7. The Ministry has facilitated the disbursement of Trader Moni and Market Moni loans to 12,000 beneficiaries in Abuja and Lagos. In Ogun state, beneficiaries are being revalidated in readiness for disbursement. The Bank of Industry will disburse loans to 10,000 beneficiaries in the 3 frontline states and loans to 5,000 beneficiaries in 2 states per geopolitical zone.
8. The Federal Government has approved the release of 70,000 metric tons of grain from the Strategic Grains Reserve for deployment by the ministry to 13 front line states based on reported cases of COVID 19, population and density using the existing structure provided by NEMA. 5,820 metric tons have been delivered to Lagos, Ogun, and FCT, whilst 2,550 are in transit whilst the remaining grains are being bagged and transferred.
9. In addition, the Nigerian Customs Service has released 65 trucks of rice to the Ministry. So far, the rice has been distributed to Imo, Ogun, Lagos, Kano, Ondo, Oyo, Kwara, Osun, Ekiti, Kogi, Jigawa, Katsina, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Kebbi and FCT, with distribution ongoing to other States.
10. The Minister upon assumption of office immediately appointed a Special Assistant, Special Needs with oversight for issues related to People living with Disability. The first of its kind in Nigeria.
11. Working with the NEDC, the Ministry has commenced construction of both a 14-bed and 21-bed facility, each close to a large IDP Camp in Maiduguri to serve as COVID-19 Isolation Centres in the North-East using pre-fabrication technology.
12. The Ministry has provided, through the NEDC, 11,000 Personal Protective Equipment, 12 ventilators, 6,000 surgical masks, 3,000 ordinary masks, 192 infra-red thermometer, 2,400 hand gloves & 2,500 hand sanitisers to 6 states in the North East.
13. 500,000 N-Power beneficiaries have been paid their stipend for March 2002 even as the Ministry works to overhaul the programme to be more efficient. It is also working, despite the logistical challenges during this lockdown, with sundry stakeholders to transition the current beneficiaries whose tenure ended 18 months ago and on-board new beneficiaries.