WiHRiNI harps on humanitarian response, trains stakeholders

Women in Humanitarian Response in Nigeria Initiative (WiHRiNI) a network of women leaders and women-headed NGOs involved in humanitarian response, has emphasised the need for a more effective disaster relief and assistance to victims of crises in the country.

Its national coordinator Mimidoo Achakpa made the call in Abuja during a four-day capacity building for Humanitarian Assistance in West Africa (HAWA) Multiplier Module (MM), organised by the initiative with support of the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) and the Kofi Annan International Peace keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) .

The HAWA Multiplier Module framework had mentored six Nigerian graduates from different institutions for the designing, implementation and evaluation of a training on an aspect of humanitarian assistance based on Nigeria’s specific needs.

According to Achakpa, HAWA is aimed at advancing effectiveness of humanitarian assistance by equipping stakeholders with thorough knowledge and skills of the humanitarian sector.

“It will also enhance interaction and mutual understanding between civilian, police, and military actors involved in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in West African region,” she said.

She further expressed worry that women are usually at the receiving end of humanitarian crises, stressing the need for peace, security and development of the country.

In his goodwill message, the Ambassador Austria to Nigeria Thomas Schlesinger, noted that urban poor people, indigenous communities, older people, persons with disabilities, migrants and displaced people are the most vulnerable groups when disaster strike, adding the effects of disasters are not gender neutral.

“At the sight of predictable disasters induced by climate change or demographic challenges, local and national governments, as well as regional bodies, need to change their orientation from managing crises to managing and mitigating risk,” he said.

Earlier, the Gender Adviser at the Defense Headquarters Brigadier General Christiana Thomas, stressed the need for all stakeholders to work together to ensure that the issue of insecurity becomes a thing of the past, saying all have roles to play to mitigate humanitarian crises in order to save lives, alleviate sufferings and maintain human dignity during an aftermath of manmade crises and natural disasters.

“We need to prevent and strengthen preparedness of occurrences of future disasters. We should adhere to good practices, accountability and effectiveness in implementing humanitarian actions which should be guided by humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality neutrality and independence,” she urged.