The Federal Executive Council (FEC) of Nigeria has given approval for the establishment of the Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Fund, aimed at raising approximately $5 billion annually for emergency responses to humanitarian crises in the country.
The announcement was made by Dr. Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, after the council meeting presided over by President Bola Tinubu in Abuja.
The fund will be financed through contributions from the government, development partners, private sectors, individuals, and other sources. This flexible financing approach will enable swift responses to humanitarian crises that occur frequently in Nigeria, such as floods and other disasters. The creation of this fund is in line with President Tinubu’s 8-point agenda, which includes addressing poverty alleviation as a top priority.
Dr. Edu outlined the multi-faceted financial sources for the fund, saying, “This is a flexible form of financing that can help us get contributions from different sectors. So we’re going to have contributions from the government, from the private sector, development partners, individuals, philanthropic individuals, and other innovative forms of crowd-funding and pooling of funds together. This is to allow for an emergency response to humanitarian crisis in Nigeria.”
The government aims to raise at least $5 billion annually through the fund, and this money will be used to effectively respond to various crises across the nation. The specific modalities of implementation will be worked out in collaboration with key stakeholders and ministries.
Additionally, the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, disclosed that $7 million has been allocated to support adolescent girls’ education and empowerment in a women’s project. This initiative aims to empower women, enhance their skill levels, and promote their financial inclusion in the banking system.
This project, which focuses on adolescent girls’ education and empowerment, will be implemented by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the World Bank. The goal is to provide education and skills training to adolescent girls and promote financial inclusion, aiming for a substantial impact on the girl child’s education.
For the projects approved by the FEC, Edun explained, “They were to do with concessional and in many cases zero-interest financing by the World Bank and the International Development Association, which is the very concessional financing arm.”