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President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged $3 million for the take off of the African Union (AU) humanitarian agency, set up to address the suffering of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Africa.

President Buhari stated this during the AU meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

The summit tagged ‘extraordinary humanitarian summit and pledging conference,’ was held from May 25 to May 28.

According to Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesperson, Buhari claimed more than five million people have been displaced in the Lake Chad region, with 70 percent of them being Nigerians, in his speech at the 16th African Union special session.

President Buhari stated that in tackling this menace, his administration created the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, to respond to the growing issues relating to displaced persons.

“This is in line with the Kampala convention for the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons,” he said.

“I am glad to inform your excellencies that the ministry of humanitarian affairs of Nigeria has continued to live up to its mandate in responding quickly to all situations of displaced persons and disaster management.”

In response to the African Union’s creation of a new humanitarian agency, Buhari stated that the move will help Africa to effectively coordinate and respond to emergencies on the continent.

The president promised to pay $3 million to help the newly formed African Union humanitarian agency get up and running.

He also drew the union’s attention to global warming challenges, saying that Africa must prioritize the preservation of its aquatic and ecological systems.

“We cannot deny the fact that we have a very dangerous humanitarian crisis in our hands,” President Buhari said.

“The rationale for the establishment of this agency is to forge a common African position on humanitarian effectiveness and to create an appropriate continental architecture to effectively respond and coordinate humanitarian crises on the continent.

“You will agree that this conference could not have come at a better time, considering the challenges posed by the increasing rate of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), Refugees and Returning Migrants (RRM), to our various countries and the continent at large.

“As you are aware, Mr. Chairperson, the world is confronted by emerging threats, such as climate change, resulting in global warming, rising levels in waters, in some climes shrinking of rivers and lakes.

“All these lead to distortions in our aquatic and consequently ecological systems, conflicts, violent extremism and terrorist attacks, including herdsmen-farmers clashes and banditry lead to the displacement of whole communities, thus rendering thousands of people homeless,” the president added.

Macky Sall, president of Senegal and AU chairman, also pledged $3 million on behalf of his country and asked other African leaders to contribute to the establishment of the agency.

Likewise, Teodoro Mbasogo, president of Equatorial Guinea, who hosted the summits,  promised the sum of $4 million.

He stated that half of the money will go to the agency, while the other half will go to Mozambique.

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