By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development says the Federal Government is set to collaborate with the government of Turkey on response and mitigation of humanitarian crisis.
Farouq disclosed this when the Ambassador of Turkey to Nigeria, Mr Hidayet Bayraktar, paid her a courtesy visit on Tuesday in Abuja.
She stated that her ministry would collaborate with Turkey and also learn from its wealth of knowledge in areas of coordination, mitigation and response to disaster prone areas in the country.
“I will like to commend the government of Turkey for actively ensuring that humanitarian assistance is given to countries facing different types of disasters in spite of their religion or race.
“I am also aware that the government of Turkey has an endearing tradition of providing humanitarian action to those in need. This practice emanates from your history and culture.
“However, our main focus is on the coordination aspect of ongoing responses and providing policy direction and solutions to the agencies under the ministry while ensuring that we have effective cooperation between the relevant MDAs with a view to mitigating all the responses.
“We hope to work together to have a very effective collaboration and partnership and learn from your expertise .
“The ministry also links humanitarian and sustainable development solutions which provide inclusivity in traditionally marginaled poor and vulnerable people in this country.
“We also have programmes geared towards alleviating poverty in the country, so I look forward to a very fruitful collaboration with the Government of Turkey in these areas,” Farouq said.
Speaking earlier, Bayraktar said that Turkey had sent various humanitarian assistance around the world including Somalia, Afghanistan and some other African countries, in a bid to cushion the aftermath of the crises in the areas.
He sought the collaboration of the Ministry to achieve more in areas of humanitarian mitigation and responses in Nigeria.
“We have so many humanitarian assistance programmes within the world. We are one of the humanitarian key players and up till now, we are expecting to assist several countries which need humanitarian assistance.
“We hope we can find a way to cooperate or render any assistance in terms of disaster and humanitarian crisis going on around the world. We will send humanitarian assistance over there.
“We are ready to work with your ministry in all fields to see what we can achieve together to enrich this cooperation and relation between our two countries,” Bayraktar said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the government of Turkey extends its humanitarian assistance not only at the bilateral level but also through international organizations such as the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Food Programme.
However, according to Global Humanitarian Assistance report, Turkey had continued to be the biggest donor country of the world with an official humanitarian aid of $8.3 billion dollars. (NAN)