The ECOWAS Commission has presented a cheque for US$382,000 to the Government of Nigeria to help mitigate the effects of the recent flood disaster which claimed several lives and caused substantial damage to property in parts of the country.
“While I know that there is no volume of assistance that can bring back lives, we wish to express our solidarity and compassion,” President of the Commission His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo said in Abuja on Monday 12th November, while presenting the cheque to Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, at a ceremony in the Ministry.
He said that providing assistance to alleviate the sufferings of ECOWAS citizens affected by humanitarian challenge “is a core mandate” of the Commission under the regional Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Peacekeeping and Security.
The President further explained that the Commission has been developing appropriate tools and instruments such as the ECOWAS Emergency Response Team (EERT), National Humanitarian Platforms for disaster management for Member States that lack the capacities. The organization has also developed the Disaster Reduction (DRR) Policy which provides guidance on prevention, mitigation and management of natural disasters in the region.
President Ouedraogo paid tribute to President Goodluck Jonathan “for his continued role in the overall peace development and integration” of the ECOWAS Region.
In his response, Minister Ashiru thanked the Commission for the gesture, which he described as “a true demonstration of the fact that, we are our brothers’ keepers, in the true spirit of our African tradition where the misfortune of one becomes the shared misfortune of the community as a whole.”
He said the donation will go a long way in bolstering the measures being taken by Nigeria’s Federal and State governments to ameliorate the suffering of the flood victims.
The Director-General of the National Emergency Relief Agency, Alhaji Muhamed Sani Sidi, said the flood disaster displaced more than two million people in 32 of Nigeria’s 36 States, destroying infrastructure and washing away acres of farmland.
He said the ECOWAS gesture “shows that the international Community also has a role to play in complementing the effort” of Nigerian governments and affected communities in “lessening the impact of the flood disaster.”
Also at the ceremony were the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, Dr. Adrienne Diop.