Mrs Buhari Hosts West African First Ladies Over Lake Chad Conflict


Concerned about the spate of fleeing populations and refugees moving within and across national borders in search of safety and settled life, especially in the Lake Chad Basin, the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has resolved to convene a high–level meeting of First Ladies of West African states on February 28, 2017 to adopt a strategy that allows them to provide adequate social and economic support to refugee women and children in the sub-region.
This was announced on Monday at the technical session convened to marshal the strategy in Sokoto.
Mrs. Buhari had initiated discussions on the issue with the First Lady of Niger, Dr. Malika Issoufou Mahamadou, at the sidelines of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, last year.
Mrs. Buhari and Dr. Mahamadou are equally concerned with the conflict-prone sub-region just as the with UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) reports that 3.8 million people are facing severe food insecurity and going hungry, as at July 2016.
Key among the areas of interest are the establishment of a coordinating mechanism in the region, distribution of relief materials, provision of psychosocial support to the victims and empowerment of women and girls in addition to the issue of advocacy to expose the full magnitude of the humanitarian crisis in the region.
Heading Nigeria’s Technical team at the Sokoto meeting, Senior Special Assistant to the President in the Office of the Wife of the President, Dr. Hajo Sani, who said the high-level meeting will attract the First Ladies of Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali, as well as Development, Voluntary and Civil Society Organizations.
Speaking in turn, the Head of the Nigerien delegation, Dr. Mrs. Hadari Zeinabou, Senior Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, said the purpose of the meeting was to enable the First Ladies to complement the efforts of their spouses in the area of improving the health and well-being of the less privileged in the Lake Chad Basin region.

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