The Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Nigeria:
22 July 2021
The boy who wouldn’t quit
The first time 13-year-old Ali Umar experienced profound loss, it seemed to shatter his life right down to its roots. A few years later, when two of his younger siblings died of illness in an IDP camp in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria, the events washed over Umar like light rain. The teenager had grown stoic. Sitting on a mat in a UNICEF-supported radio learning centre in the community of Galtimari, Umar recalls his first incidence of pain, when his father was killed while working on his farmland in Alau, a small community 20km outside Maiduguri in Borno State. Ironically, the family of two wives and ten children had relocated from their ancestral community of Kayamla to Alau to escape unending attacks and counterattacks by armed groups and government forces. But it was in Alau that the chickens came home to roost. “I was his first son; we were very close,’’ says Umar, two large teardrops suddenly escaping his hooded eyes. The teenager sobs quietly, his anguish drowned out by the loud chatter of children playing outside the radio learning centre. Like Umar, they also bear deep scars of the twelve-year conflict. The radio club hosts some of the most vulnerable children in the world. Some born during the conflict have never experienced peace, while those born before it have lost nearly everything - including a normal childhood. The crisis has seen tens of thousands of children orphaned, separated from their families, enlisted into armed groups, exposed to hunger and infection, and missing out on school. UNICEF is helping Umar and other internally displaced children in the school cope with the trauma of the conflict. With support from the German Financial Cooperation project with UNICEF (KfW), teachers and members of the school-based management committee have been trained to provide psychosocial support to the children. UNICEF also provides learning materials and radio clubs to the Galtimari community, strengthening the quality of education for the children. Three times a week, Umar attends a radio learning club. UNICEF is helping vulnerable children across the state with community-based radio clubs, learning materials, pre-recorded literacy and numeracy lessons, hygiene facilities and graduate tutors. Umar’s journey to the UNICEF school and to this UNICEF-supported radio class was a new beginning for him. He arrived in Maiduguri on foot with his family in early 2014 and joined dozens of other IDPs who had already taken shelter at the Galtimari school. Prior to his arrival, abductions of school children and grisly attacks on schools had forced the state government to shut them down indefinitely. The school was subsequently repurposed by the state government as an IDP camp, to shelter people fleeing the suburbs into Maiduguri. It remained so for nearly two years. When schools were finally reopened, the legion of IDPs inhabiting schools were relocated to other sites in town. “I stayed behind with Garba Mohammed, who was the chairman of IDPs at the school. One of the watchmen of the school died around that time and Mohammed replaced him. He introduced me to the headmaster and enrolled me in school. He has been responsible for me since 2015. I am grateful to him because he reduced the burden on my mother,’’ says Umar. Today, Umar and three other orphaned boys live in a converted office sandwiched between two classrooms. The boys keep their sparse belongings in a corner of the room, under a white mosquito net. The room is mostly dark, except for the door and a small window that provides some ventilation. Last April, the boys abandoned sleeping in the room for the airier veranda, to escape the stifling night heat that can reach temperatures of 45 degrees centigrade. Even at the tender age of 13, Umar sees beyond his troubles. Already, he is training to become a power generator engineer in his spare time and has even bigger goals in mind. “If Allah wishes it, all will be well with me. My goal is to be the governor of this state. I would like to put everything in order in the villages so that people can return to a better life,’’ he says with a broad smile.
1 of 5
12 July 2021
Prevention, only ‘sustainable solution’ to conflict, deputy UN chief tells Nigerian law students
Prevention will help us “flatten the curve” of conflict, and thus create space for our conflict management tools, which are currently often overwhelmed”, she said on Thursday, in a lecture delivered at Baze University, in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, entitled: The Use of Ceasefire Agreements In Avoiding Escalation of Armed Conflicts. The Deputy Secretary-General was the guest lecturer at the University’s Faculty of Law Lecture Series. Early intervention UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed addresses the Faculty of Law at Baze University Abuja in Nigeria, by UNIC Lagos/Oluseyi Soremekun According to her, at the heart of this approach is the need to engage early and proactively with a wide range of actors, in particular regional, subregional organizations and civil society, while continuing to make a significant political investment in peace making and conflict resolution across the globe. “Nowhere is this more evident than in Africa, where the UN has established a strategic partnership with the African Union (AU) and the UN Regional Economic Commission (UNECA). The UN has also focused on helping to reinforce national capacities for conflict prevention, with the understanding that prevention is more effective when it is led by national or local actors”, she said. The UN, Ms Mohammed explained further, has put inclusion and the promotion of women’s political participation and youth engagement, at the centre of all efforts towards peace and security. Prioritize gender equality In establishing the role of gender equality in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, Ms. Mohammed emphasized that gender equality must be prioritized, noting that societies that sideline half their populations from political and economic life, leadership and decision-making, will always be vulnerable to conflict. “Efforts that are responsive to the specific needs and rights of women and girls are likely to have more impact and contribute better to sustainable peace.” Added the Deputy Secretary-General. On arrival at the University, she was received by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Tahir Mamman (OON, SAN); Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi; the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dr. Ali Ahmad and other senior management of the University.
1 of 5
31 March 2020
UN Nigeria Announces COVID-19 Emergency Response for Displaced and Most Vulnerable in North-east Nigeria
The United Nations in Nigeria on Tuesday declared it is taking emergency preparedness and response measures to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus to the most vulnerable crisis-affected people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. These measures also address immediate humanitarian consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic should it spread to north-east Nigeria. “We will not wait for COVID-19 to reach camps for internally displaced persons before we act. They have already suffered enough from the decade-long conflict and our priority is to ensure the continuous delivery of life-saving assistance, especially health services, to the most vulnerable women, children and the elderly who need special attention,” said Mr Edward Kallon, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria. “More than ever, it is crucial for vulnerable people to have access to not only water, soap, shelters, but also food, education and protection.” Mr. Kallon noted that the UN in Nigeria is supporting the governments of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in developing emergency response plans that take the reality of the living conditions in many communities and IDP camps into account and include specific mitigation measures particularly in overcrowded camps and camp-like settings where the risk of disease outbreaks is higher. The Humanitarian Coordinator highlighted that the United Nations and its humanitarian partners, are actively involved in Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) in IDP sites across the BAY states in support of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Key activities are being implemented jointly in the IDP camps, guided by global guidance on Covid-19 Outbreak Preparedness and Response. “Humanitarian partners are installing hand-washing stations in IDP camps and ensuring supply of clean water. Partners are also distributing soap and teaching women how to produce their own,” Mr. Kallon explained. The United Nations is also planning to bring in vital health equipment and tools to prevent and treat the respiratory virus, which is now affecting over 12 states across Nigeria, with 139 total cases recorded as of 31 March. The UN has developed awareness-raising and prevention messages, leaflets, posters, animations and videos specific for IDPs and other vulnerable people in the north-east. In partnership with major TV and radio channels, it has launched sensitization campaigns across various Nigerian states, reaching millions of Nigerians. The UN is also launching a survey tool with the Network of People Living with HIV (NEPWHAN) to gather specific and arising challenges for people living with HIV on continuous access to quality treatment, care and support in the midst of the response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
1 of 5
13 March 2020
A Coordinated Response to Coronavirus
On Wednesday, 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the coronavirus (COVID-19) viral disease as a pandemic, but it is a pandemic that can be controlled. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who heads the UN agency, said, in his statement, “Let me be clear: describing this as a pandemic does not mean that countries should give up.” The UN Secretary-General urged all countries to take a comprehensive approach tailored to their circumstances – with containment as the central pillar. COVID-19 is affecting thousands of people, impacting countries’ health systems and having widespread social and economic effects. The UN entities working on development, the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, are supporting countries in their preparedness and response plans. This page convenes sources of information and guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) regarding the current outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). WHO is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to track the spread and to provide guidance to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak. To stay up to date with the latest information, please visit: World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 Latest news on the United Nations’ response: https://news.un.org/en/events/un-news-coverage-coronavirus-outbreak WHO guidance for countries: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd
1 of 5
14 August 2021
Young people, Nigeria's greatest and most valuable resource - Edward Kallon
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, has reaffirmed that young people are Nigeria’s greatest and most valuable resource. "The quality and type of investments made in this human resource by government, determines the trajectory of development and how society can be envisioned in years and decades to come." He said on Thursday, 12 August, at the observance of the International Youth Day organised as part of events marking the 60th Anniversary of the Nigerian Institute of Internal Affairs (NIIA), and in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Lagos. He explained that strategic investment in young people's education, health, security, employment, empowerment, effective civil participation, and overall development carried the potential for demographic dividends. “Nigerian youth” according to Kallon, “are known globally as pacesetters. Not only are they highly skilled and educated, but they are also innovative and entrepreneurial. This country is one of the leading destinations for start-up investments, largely targeting and led by youth.” The UN Resident Coordinator added that Fintech, e-commerce, and the digital economy were all driven by young people. The Director General of NIIA, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, in his welcome address, reiterated that there was hope for Nigerian youths, "and the hope can only be actualised by the youths themselves." He said further to the participants who were mainly undergraduates from four Universities, "As you look for change, see yourselves in the change process. Take note that digitalisation is not an option but a necessity. You must embrace technology and leverage on it to drive change." Oniru of Iruland, Oba Abdul-Wasiu Lawal, commended the management of the NIIA and the United Nations for organising the event to celebrate the youths. He urged young people to embrace Agriculture in their quest for entrepreneurship. Hon. Minister of Youth and Sport Development, Mr Sunday Dare, represented by the Special Assistant ICT and Corporate Relations to the Hon. Minister, Ms. Oluwakemi Ann-Melody Areola, explained that the youths must be met and engaged within their space.
1 of 5
1 / 11