The Federal Republic of Nigeria, through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has adopted a number of measures aimed at helping Liberia recover from its decade-long civil decadence.
In a paper recently presented at Liberia’s Ministerial High Level Disaster Response Meeting hosted in Monrovia, the director-general of Nigeria National Emergency Management Agency, Muhammad Sani Sidi, recalled how the West African Region has witnessed several nature-induced disasters and conflicts over the years.
According to him, this leads to the fact that disaster management is cross-cutting, “because disaster itself is trans-boundary in nature.”
The government high level disaster response meeting was organized by the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) and supported by the Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine.
The ECOWAS Humanitarian Affairs Policy was adopted by member states in 2012, and was developed to provide a solid framework for the prevention and management of humanitarian crises.
He said the departments and units should comprise planning, research and forecasting, research and rescue, relief and rehabilitation, disaster risk reduction, training, etc.
“The main goal of the Humanitarian Policy and Plan of Action,” he said, “is to create a powerful region, effective and efficient enough to manage the disasters that plague it.”
According to Mr. Sidi, meeting the standards of the ECOWAS Model Disaster Management Agency by member states, translates to strengthening the West African Disaster Management capacity.
“When this happens, Member States can fully explore the benefits of South-South cooperation in the implementation of the Humanitarian Policy and Plan Action.”
The Government High Level Disaster Response Meeting was hosted in the aftermath of the reported Ebola virus outbreak that has claimed many lives in the country, as reported by Liberian health authorities.