United Nations partners Nigeria for socio-economic recovery on coronavirus challenges

The United Nations (UN) in partnership with the Nigeria Development Partners Group (NDPG) as well as the international donor community, on Monday launched the United Nations (UN) Plus Offer for socio-economic recovery support to the Nigeria Government to address challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Penpushing reports that, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, officially launched the initiativeon, at the Office of the Vice President in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory(FCT).

The United Nations Plus Offer aims to key into the government’s economic sustainability plan and help the country build back better, while the offer seeks to mobilize close to $250 million and will provide targeted support to the development of health response systems, protecting people, macroeconomic stability and economic recovery as well as social protectionto assist communities in sustainable recovery.

Penpushing further reports that, while coronavirus amplifies socio-economic challenges and risks, it also offers opportunities to build back better, and the multi-dimensional nature of the crisis presents an opportunity for re-prioritization as well as for strengthening partnerships and integrated responses.

The Deputy Secretary General to Nigeria, Amina Mohammed in her remarks said, ’this offer is aimed at supporting Nigeria in its immediate efforts of risk mitigation by cushioning vulnerable communities, and through medium-term measures that will aid socio-economic recovery while addressing structural drivers of exclusion, inequalities and discrimination as a component of recovering better”.

‘For Nigeria, home to the largest number of multi-dimensionally poor in the world, and ranking 158 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI), the pandemic is expected to significantly worsen the already vulnerable socio-economic conditions of the country, including unemployment, poverty, out-of-school children, maternal mortality rate and the general health of the populace while deepening pre-existing gender inequalities’.

Penpushing also reports that, Osibajo speaking on the importance of the initiative said “I think that rallying to support and thinking through a programme such as the UN Plus Offer for socio-economic recovery is a demonstration of the kinship that we developed with our partners and the United Nations. This initiative also mirrors our Economic Sustainability Plan and does so in excellent complement”.

‘The pandemics resultant shutdowns and restrictions on movement have exerted a heavy toll on the health and livelihoods of individuals, adversely affecting the functioning of businesses and government’.

‘The adverse implications of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s already large and vulnerable population in a complex development setting that calls on the UN for concerted action to mitigate the socio-economic implications of the pandemic’.

‘It is in this context, through efforts by the NDPG, that the UN Nigeria has articulated this offer to assist government to broaden their revenue base, guarantee transparency and accountability in the management of resources, ensure participation and inclusivity in governance and resuscitate the economy to put its development back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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