By Cecilia Ologunagba
The Government of Norway is the latest contributor to the One United Nations COVID-19 response with a donation of 9.9 million Norwegian Kroner (420 million Naira) in support of the Nigerian Government.
The UN made this known in a statement jointly issued by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Federal Government of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
The statement said the donation would bolster support to the Nigeria COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Pandemic Response Plan and help the government to sustain its efforts in addressing critical issues of the on-going pandemic.
It quoted the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Jens-Petter Kjemprud, as saying: “Global solidarity is our only option.
“The coronavirus pandemic requires that we join forces for urgent action and coordinated efforts to mitigate its short- and long-term effects.
“Through the UN Basket Fund, Norway is partnering with Nigeria in this time of crisis to address the multifaceted nature of the pandemic and its unprecedented implications on the healthcare system, as well as the socio-economic impacts.”
According to the statement, the Nigeria One UN COVID-19 response reflects the United Nations in Nigeria’s support to an inclusive and nationally owned COVID-19 response through a shared vision and a common strategy.
“Its purpose is to coordinate and align UN’s efforts and leverage partnerships with the government, development partners, foundations and CSOs as well as the private sector.
“It will leverage partnership to increase the availability, accessibility, affordability, adaptability and acceptability of COVID-19 response services in Nigeria.’’
The statement also quoted Edward Kallon, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, as saying: “The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic calls for global solidarity in time of crisis.
“The UN appreciates the financial contribution from the Government of Norway to the Nigeria One UN COVID-19 response.
“This will support efforts aimed not only at scaling up the COVID-19 health response, but to support the Government of Nigeria’s socio-economic interventions for vulnerable populations, including water, sanitation, hygiene and interventions to address food insecurity.”
The One UN COVID-19 Basket Fund managed by UNDP aims to further strengthen Nigeria’s response and the management of the crisis, through socio-economic analytics, and proactive early recovery and social protection interventions, targeting the poorest and most vulnerable groups.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UN, in collaboration with the Federal Government, launched the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund on April 6, 2020.
The Basket Fund serves as the One COVID-19 Financing and Investment Platform, through which different stakeholders can channel their financial support to the multi-sectoral efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Response.
The overall management of the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund is led and coordinated by the Project Board.
The Project Board has representation from the Presidential Task Force; Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), relevant government departments, fund contributing donors and the UN.