The Nigerian government has implemented measures in its National Disaster Response Plan, damage and loss assessment, and relief intervention actions with the goal of closing the inequality gap. Mustapha Ahmed, Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) made the announcement in Abuja on the occasion of 2023 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. The Director General has stated that the day is to commemorate the culture of risk awareness and disaster risk reduction in order to strengthen the resilience of local communities globally.
He claims that the day is exploring the connection between disasters and social inequality as both goes hand in hand. Women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable because of unequal access to services, financial inequality, unequal opportunities and discrimination, and the lack of adoption of fiscal policies that promote equality, he said. However, he stressed that stakeholders may limit people’s exposure and vulnerability to harm through cautious planning, collaborative efforts and raising awareness about the harmful potential of both natural and human-induced disasters.
This event kicks off the next ten years of collaborative efforts.
Ahmed mentioned that poverty and inequality are two major contributors to disaster risk, and that the Sendai framework for DRR encourages more focused efforts to address these issues. The Director General went on to say that participation and collaboration from every facet of society are essential for effective disaster risk reduction. It also necessitates a focus on those disproportionately impacted by catastrophes — the poor — as well as a commitment to empowering and including all members of the community. Also, It advocates for the inclusion of age, disability, and cultural diversity in all policies and practices while also encouraging young people and women to take on leadership roles in our democratic process.
Mr. Daniel Obot, the Agency’s Director of Disaster Risk Reduction, noted in his remark earlier that this year marks the tenth anniversary of Nigeria participation in International Day for Disaster Reduction. This event kicks off the next ten years of collaborative efforts to reorganize and enhance Disaster Risk Reduction in Nigeria. According to him, the idea of “leaving no one behind” is key to the concept of disaster risk reduction, which is bolstered by teamwork and synergy. Over the years of working together, he continued, the case for bolstering the synergy has only grown.
Lack of resilience makes it difficult for the most vulnerable.
Abubakar Kyari, the minister of agriculture and food security, remarked that when a disaster occurs the effects of existing social inequities are exacerbated, with vulnerable populations bearing the burden of most of the damage. Sugra Mahmoud, the Ministry’s Director of Nutrition and Food Security, who spoke on behalf of the minister, emphasized the moral importance of the Ministry’s role in shaping critical solutions that equip every citizen to resist the shocks and pressures associated with such calamities.
Our agricultural systems are increasingly at risk from extreme weather conditions including droughts, storms, floods, and heat waves, which also exacerbate existing inequities in people’s ability to obtain food with adequate nutrition. As bad as the statistics are, they are even made worse by the fact that we are in the middle of a conflict situation. He explained that the lack of resilience makes it especially difficult for the most vulnerable among us, such as smallholder farmers, women, children, and disadvantaged communities, to cope with and recuperate from severe disasters.
Stakeholders encouraged to advocate for effective measures.
Furthermore, the Minister also stressed the importance of inclusive and sustainable practices and providing last-mile support to vulnerable populations in order to mitigate the severe impacts of weather catastrophes on the food supply. This year’s theme, “Fighting inequality for the resilient future,” is in line with the United Nations’ inclusiveness vantage point of leaving no one behind. Stakeholders have been encouraged to participate in the dialogue and advocate for measures to reduce inequality in order to strengthen Nigeria future.