PRESS RELEASE: Zero Hunger Initiative Private Sector Roundtable to address the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on communities

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The Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Faruq met with leaders in the business and development sector in Lagos at a roundtable with the aim of rallying stakeholders’ support to boost efforts of the federal government in addressing the myriad of challenges emanating from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister impressed upon guests the importance of “re-imagining our approaches to solving new and older challenges in the wake of the pandemic”. She also assured that the meeting will lead to a “renewed vigour in the ongoing efforts to find better ways to collaborate as we help those most vulnerable in society.

“In our capacity at the federal level, we have been working diligently to address these problems across Nigeria. While our results are significant, collective action between the government and private sector organisations can have a greater impact.”

Mohammed Yahya, Resident Representative of UNDP, in his welcome address emphasized the importance of collaboration and partnership in development. He noted the significant role that multilateralism plays, facilitating problem solving.

Bankole ‘Banky’ Wellington who was also present at the roundtable noted that “it is important to identify community leaders while providing interventions in the society”. He further emphasized the need to strengthen collaboration while fostering grassroots engagement.

Attendees at the roundtable resolved to better align their efforts with those of the federal government of Nigeria towards cushioning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians, – particularly, the vulnerable who are at risk of hunger, with inadequate access social services such as health and education.

The cross-sector roundtable had in attendance Mohammed Yahya, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Nigeria, Abubakar Sulieman, Managing Director of Sterling Bank, Alero Ayida-Otobo of Project Ark, Onyeka Akumah of Farmcrowdy, Alan Sinfield, CEO of 9 Mobile, Joke Bakare, MD Medplus, Adebola Williams, CEO RED for Africa, Bankole Wellington, Dr. Mariam Masha; Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Humanitarian Interventions among many others.

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The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development is mandated 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 fair focused social inclusion and protection programmes in Nigeria.

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