Homegrown solutions to African problems and innovative practices in humanitarian action

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The event aims to showcase innovative models in private-public sector partnerships in humanitarian financing.

Ms. Jeanine Cooper opened the panel discussion by stating that helping is an integral part of the social fabric of Africa and therefore finding solutions in response to humanitarian crises is something very innate to the community.

Mr. Muhamad Sani Sidi’s address was about locating best practices learning from the 2012 flood in Nigeria. It was the largest natural disaster the country has ever seen, displacing over 2.3 million people. As an outcome, public-private partnerships have strengthened in the region. The Federal Government of Nigeria allocates 1% of total national income towards disaster management. Furthermore, the private sector too played a key role by raising and allocating 84 million US Dollars towards the disaster. However, the disaster coupled with the problem of insurgency in the country pose many humanitarian problems such as the closure of educational institutions in Nigeria.

Mr. Ahmed Idris shared success stories from Kenya. He posited that young people are vital to the progress of Africa as more than half of the population of the continent is under the age of 20. This reflects a growth in literacy rates as more children in the 21st century attend school compared to their older counterparts. Furthermore, technology is playing a key role in aiding humanitarian assistance. In Kenya technology helps authorise humanitarian assistance and aid documents from the government within five days.

Mr. Sunday Babatunde echoed similar innovative ideas highlighted by Mr. Ahmed Idris and Mr. Muhamad Sani Sidi. He addressed a need for governments to develop support systems that encourage these novel responses to old problems relating to humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, he stated that OCHA AU has a humanitarian assistant team with 23 members states and many UN Agencies that support initiatives of the African Union for coordination and Africa Disaster Management Platform.

 Meeting title: “Homegrown solutions to African problems and innovative practices in humanitarian action”
Speakers: Ms. Jeanine Cooper, OCHA representative to the AU and ECA; Mr. Ahmed Idris, Kenya Red Cross; Mr. Sunday Babatunde, OCHA regional civil military coordinator (Africa Region); Mr. Muhamad Sani Sidi, Director General, NEMA-Nigeria
Location: Conference Room E, United Nations HQ, New York 
Date: Thursday, 26 June 2014
Written by WIT Representative: Apurv Gupta
Edited by WIT Representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark 

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