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COP28: IsDB to assist Nigeria improve humanitarian intervention, reduce poverty index

Buoyed by President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda which seeks to reduce humanitarian crises and alleviate poverty in Nigeria, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has pledged to help the country scale up its response to humanitarian crisis and its drive to reduce poverty index through the new climate change adaptation policy on “fair, inclusive, and just transition conceptual framework and action plan”.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, with Chairman and Group Chief Executive of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, at COP28

Chairman and Group Chief Executive of the bank, Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, made this known on the sidelines of a high-level panel meeting held with stakeholders of some developing countries and development partners at the ongoing COP28 Climate Change Conference In Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The IsDB Chairman said the decision was part of efforts by the bank to align its objective with the “Paris Agreement.”

Al-Jasser said climate change has exposed countries to disasters, poverty, insecurity, and humanitarian crises: “We must quickly intervene to protect the population through social protection and scale up of the social safety net.

“Nigeria needs the support of the Islamic Development Bank through its beautiful initiatives. The time to act is now,” he said.

“This framework which is being launched here at COP28 signals our readiness to collaborate with all stakeholders, governments, the private sector, civil society, and other development institutions to harness the immense potential of the Paris Agreement for sustainable development.

“In Our current role as Chair of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) Working Group on Climate Change, we seek to better coordinate efforts among MDBs at the country level and support the development of long-term national strategies” he added.

He disclosed that the Islamic Development Bank Group stands ready to play its part, support member countries, and work closely with strategic partners.

Speaking, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, said: “It’s time for us to move from words, commitments, and policy frameworks to actual action and implementation of the climate change adaptation plan. the federal government of Nigeria is committed to active partnerships that will translate into solutions for millions of Nigerians.”

Edu, who singled out Nigeria due to its policy thrust on humanitarian response and poverty alleviation, said that, truly, Nigeria is deserving of the support of the bank given President Tinubu’s laudable programmes and interventions in various sectors closely linked to climate change adaptation, especially Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Programmes required to address issues following from flooding, erosions, drying up of the Lake Chad Basin, amongst other issues that have taken away livelihoods, displaced millions and heightened insecurity and insurgence.

The Minister said the Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund was one of the administration’s many beautiful ideas to reduce the poverty index and promote prompt responses to humanitarian situations across Nigeria. The “Grow Nigeria” is another intervention closely linked to climate change solutions.

Also, in attendance at the high-level meeting was the UN Assistant Secretary General & CEO of African Risk Capacity Group, Mr Ibrahima Cheikh Diong; ILO Director for Priority Action Programme on Just Transitions, Dr. Moustapha Gueye; AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata; IsDB Director, Resilience & Climate Action, Syed Husain Quadri; Manager, Climate Change and Environment, Dr. Daouda Ndiaye; while the sideline panel was moderated by Dr. Zeinab Usman, Director of Africa Programme Carengie Endowment.

After the event, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, held meeting with the President as well as a long session with the technical team of IsDB from its head offices in Saudi Arabia to flesh out details of the compact agreement to be signed between the Nigerian government and the bank, as well as identify new projects and programmes that the country can benefit from.

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