ABUJA, NIGERIA, NOVEMBER 9, 2020: The United Nations (UN) Nigeria in partnership with the Nigeria Development Partners Group (NDPG) and the international donor community, launched the UN Plus Offer for socio-economic recovery support to the Government of Nigeria and its people to address challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the UN Secretary General’s call for action, the UN in Nigeria, in collaboration with development partners, undertook a rapid socio-economic impact assessment resulting in the UN Plus Offer to support the government’s action on post-COVID-19 medium term socio-economic recovery.
The Vice President, H.E Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed, officially launched the initiative at the Office of the Vice President in Abuja.
The UN Plus Offer aims to key into the government’s economic sustainability plan and help the country build back better. 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 protection to assist communities in sustainable recovery.
While COVID-19 amplifies socio-economic challenges and risks, it also offers opportunities to build back better. The multi-dimensional nature of the crisis presents an opportunity for re-prioritization as well as for strengthening partnerships and integrated responses. Deputy Secretary General to Nigeria, Amina Mohammed said during her remarks, “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.
Speaking on the importance of the initiative, the Vice President H.E. Prof Yemi Osibajo 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”. In addition, he added, “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).
For more information and media enquiries contact:
Alison Clement – Communications Specialist, UNDP Nigeria|+234 701590 6558 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Oluseyi Soremekun – National Information Officer, UN Nigeria |+234 803 303 0002 | email@example.com
Note to the editor:
The UN Plus offer for socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is aligned to the Nigerian Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Partnership Framework and is included in the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund to support the implementation of the National COVID-19 Multi-sectoral Pandemic Response. Collaborating with the development partner community is a key component in making the response effective, targeted and complementary to the efforts by all. The donor community, in particular the European Union (EU), have responded generously with a total sum of $64.4 million contribution.
As the socioeconomic impact continues to warrant an emergency response, several UN agencies in Nigeria have also resorted to re-programing or re-purposing existing programs to better align with the urgent needs. Such re-programed activities, amounting to $5.6 million enabled urgent humanitarian needs to be met at the early stages of the pandemic. In response to emerging needs, the UN Nigeria has mobilized $16.7 million since the onset of the pandemic, which have mostly been allocated for emergency responses, including humanitarian interventions.