Humanitarian ministry engages stakeholders on zero cash policy development

Thu, Mar 16, 2023 | By editor


THE Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD), on Thursday engaged relevant stakeholders to review the National Cash and Voucher Assistance Policy (NCVAP) to enhance productivity.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 69 stakeholders participated in the workshop organised by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in collaboration with other partners.

Mrs Olamide Dauda, Policy Development Consultant, speaking at the two-day pre-validation workshop for the Draft National Cash and Voucher Assistance Policy in Keffi, Nasarawa State, said the policy would enhance local economy.

Dauda said the aim of the initiative was to adopt more use of cash and voucher assistance so that there would be no disruption to the local economy.

“Essentially, we’re here to get all the stakeholders involved together to align on the policy direction and to guide ahead of the validation meeting.

“We have been in the middle of a protracted crisis for over a decade, and in light of disaster related incidents.

“So government is leveraging on existing structures within the social investment programme to provide cash assistance to not just to the poor but the vulnerable.

“We have a different segments of urban poor, whom any change to their livelihood means a shift from normalcy to poverty.

“Also in terms of the victims, it’s more dignifying because it gives them choice. I may give you a particular food but it might not be your critical need.

“We’re conducting a needs assessment; we need to understand your needs. So that the policy we’re designing meets the operational bottlenecks and the challenges that have been identified by the stakeholders.”

Dauda said that the policy would provide a pathway beyond responding to disaster to resilience.

She, however, urged the government to provide leadership to coordinate and regulate the actors.

Ms. Rose Iwueze, a Consultant on Environmental Management and Occupational Health, while commending the ministry for the initiative described the policy as apt.

“Before now, it has been an ad hoc arrangement but this will be like a formalised way of addressing the humanitarian issues in the area of cash transfer and voucher especially at the grassroots.

“And even with the cashless policy introduced by the CBN, I think it will be a collaborative idea to achieve this, although the people in the rural community need a lot of education.”

Iwueze said that the beneficiaries should be enlightened on the policy for effective operation.

Another participant with the National Cash Transfer Office, Mr Emmanuel Eban also said the policy was excellent because it would serve as a legal framework that supported humanitarian interventions and operations.

“If humanitarian actors want to give assistance in kind or cash to people who are vulnerable by virtue of insurgency or disasters, the policy will be a legal framework that supports our operations.

“The policy is welcomed because it tells the actors what they can do or not and within the boundaries operate in a sovereign nation like Nigeria,” Eban said.

He said the policy would ensure that people who were disadvantaged by virtue of their location or the events around their lives were taken care of.(NAN)