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COP28: Betta Edu secures Islamic Development Bank nod to scale-up social protection

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Gains of Nigeria’s participation in the ongoing Conference on Climate Change in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have started trickling in after the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu’s fruitful engagements with the President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

Chairman and Group Chief Executive of the Bank, Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, pledged to help Nigeria scale up its response to humanitarian crisis and its drive to reduce poverty index through the new Climate change adaptation policy “fair, inclusive, and just transition conceptual framework and action plan”

This was stated on the sidelines of a high level panel meeting held with critical stakeholders of some developing Countries and development Partners.

The Islamic Development Bank Chairman said the decision was part of efforts by the bank to align its objective with the “Paris Agreement.”

Al-Jasser said climate change has exposed countries to disasters, poverty, insecurity, and humanitarian crises:

“We must quickly intervene to protect the population through social protection and scale up of the social safety net.

“Nigeria needs the support of the Islamic Development Bank through its beautiful initiatives. The time to act is now,” he said.

“This framework which is being launched here at COP 28 signals our readiness to collaborate with all stakeholders, governments, the private sector, civil society, and other development institutions to harness the immense potential of the Paris Agreement for sustainable development.

“In Our current role as Chair of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) Working Group on Climate Change, we seek to better coordinate efforts among MDBs at the country level and support the development of long-term national strategies” he added

He disclosed that the Islamic Development Bank Group stands ready to play its part, support member countries, and work closely with strategic partners.

Edu said: “It’s time for us to move from words, commitments, and policy frameworks to actual action and implementation of the climate change adaptation plan. The federal government of Nigeria is committed to active partnerships that will translate into solutions for millions of Nigerians.”

Edu, who singled out Nigeria due to its policy thrust on Humanitarian response and Poverty Alleviation, said truly Nigeria is deserving of the support of the bank given President Tinubu’s laudable programs and interventions in various sectors closely linked to climate change adaptation, especially Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Programs required to address issues arising from flooding, erosions, drying up of the Lake chad basin amongst other issues that have taken away livelihoods, displaced millions and heightened insecurity and insurgence.

The Minister said the Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Trust Fund was one of the administration’s many beautiful ideas to reduce the poverty index and promote prompt responses to humanitarian situations across Nigeria. The “ GROW NIGERIA” is another intervention closely linked to climate change solutions.

In attendance at the high-level meeting was the UN Assistant Secretary General & CEO of African Risk Capacity Group, Mr Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, ILO Director for Priority Action Program on Just Transitions, Dr. Moustapha Gueye, AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, IsDB Director Resilience & Climate Action, Syed Husain Quadri,

Manager Climate Change and Environment, Dr. Daouda Ndiaye, while the sideline panel was moderated by Dr. Zeinab Usman, Director of Africa Program Carengie Endowment.

After the event, Edu held meeting with the President as well as a long session with the technical team of IsDB from Head Office in Saudi Arabia to flesh out details of the compact agreement to be signed between Government and the Bank as well as identify new Projects and programs that the country can benefit from.

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