The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has assured that it will continue to collaborate with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to support people and communities at risk and those affected by disasters in the country.
A top official of UNOCHA, Sofie Garde Thomle who is the Deputy Director Operations and Advocacy Division and also serves as the Chief of Branch West and Central Africa based at its Headquarters in New York, USA gave the indication when she led a delegation from the UN Agency to the headquarters of NEMA in Abuja on Thursday.
Thomle said she has heard much about NEMA and seen the Agency in action, engaged in various humanitarian and disaster intervention, therefore was happy to meet with the Director General NEMA and his management and commended them for the laudable achievements.
She said the purpose of her visit to Nigeria was to explore how UNOCHA headquarters could further support the field operation of its office in Nigeria to deliver its obligations to the people. In line with this, she said she has visited Maiduguri to assess the on-going humanitarian activities in the North Eastern Nigeria and considered it necessary to also meet with NEMA, being a key stakeholder of UNOCHA.
She assured that OCHA will continue to identify with and support NEMA, within the limit of its mandates.
Responding, the Director General NEMA Mustapha Habib Ahmed appreciated UNOCHA for impactful supports given to Nigeria through NEMA over the years.
He recalled many areas that NEMA and OCHA have been collaborating to ensure effective coordination of emergency preparedness and response in Nigeria and said “the most recent one is the capacity building programme in Disaster Management organized for NEMA and SEMA officials across the country in September, 2023.”
Additionally, he said “NEMA also wishes to further solicit for UNOCHA’s continuous support especially in the areas of data and information management; capacity building; review of plans and polices; and improved coordination through the Emergency Coordination Forum meetings.”
The UNOCHA Deputy Director Operations and Advocacy Division/Chief of Branch West and Central Africa Sofie Garde Thomle was accompanied to NEMA headquarters by Beatrice Lakot, Head of Coordination UNOCHA Nigeria; Moserous Sesay Head of UNOCHA Yola sub-office and Bisong Andrew Government Liaison Unit UNOCHA Nigeria.
17th November, 2023