The Humanitarian Action Conference 2020 (HAC), was held on Saturday the 17th of October, organized by InnerCity Mission, under the auspices of Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI). It was a successful convening of all critical players and stakeholders in the humanitarian and development sector, who came together to discuss realistically actionable strategies to address the issue of poverty in a sustainable way. The theme of this maiden edition of the InnerCity Mission (ICM) 2020 Humanitarian Action Conference was: “Eradicating Poverty: Rethinking the Strategy”. The conference was held on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, recognized by the United Nations.
Addressing the public, the Most Rev. Tom Amenkhienan, Chairman Board of Directors (InnerCity Mission for Children), told the audience that eradicating poverty has been a top priority at the InnerCity Mission. “We have had remarkable achievements over the years, which are clear testimonies of our unwavering commitment to finding lasting solutions to the issue of poverty. The InnerCity Mission for children is a child-centered, faith-based, non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since its inception in 2005.” He went on to say, “we have directly and indirectly impacted the lives of over 20 million beneficiaries, mostly children, irrespective of race, color, religion, and gender.”
The InnerCity Mission, with the support of the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International, development footprint spans over 60 countries, providing sustainable solutions to issues caused by poverty through their programs and interventions, supported by a global network, committed donors, and selfless volunteers.
The Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration (Office of the First Lady), Dr. Hajo Sani delivered a special message from the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and keynote speaker, Dr. Mrs. Aisha M. Buhari. Speaking on the role of mothers in eradicating poverty, Dr. Sani told the audience that poverty has a female face. “Forty percent of Nigerians live below the poverty line with women constituting 60% of this figure. Sustainable development goal 1 provides that we end poverty in 2030 in all it’s forms, everywhere.” She continued by saying that as it is only 10 years away, there must be a critical rethink in the process of eradication. This must involve the global economic sustainable empowerment of women in both urban and rural communities.
The Deputy Country Representative for UNICEF, Mrs. Rushnan Murtaza speaking on behalf of the Country Representative, Mr. Peter Hawkins addressed the conference by saying: “Poverty is a very critical part of our development that translates to our commitment to continue to nurture our collective global and national efforts to achieving a better future in 2030, with significant progress in human development illustrated in the eradication of poverty.” Mrs. Murtaza stressed that “poverty is not just about lack of income and resources for sustainable livelihoods, it widely encompasses lack of sufficient capacity to enjoy life. Poverty with its economic, social, political, and cultural dimensions is a universal problem with devastating impacts on children, especially in developing countries.
As a representative of UNICEF, Mrs. Murtaza focused her concerns on the children and continued by saying “childhood poverty both multidimensional and income, violates the rights of children as enshrined in the convention on the rights of the children. It can last a lifetime and can be transmitted across generations.” If you look at the global scale, more than 700 million children are on the brink of poverty. “Now is the time to choose a different path and to re-imagine a better future, one in which every child is supported with the resources they need to flourish.”
The Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Sahel Consulting, Mrs. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli, was asked to address the topic:” Achieving SDG 1: Challenges, Opportunities, and New Strategic Direction”. She discussed lessons from Millenium Development Goals (MDG), the opportunities, challenges, and risks involved together with risk mitigation strategies. She also discussed the roles of governments and civil societies in the development sector.
At an exhibition stand at the Humanitarian Action Conference, guests visited the “I have a dream” photographic exhibition, where impact stories displayed in pictures, depicted the progress that the InnerCity Mission is making in the lives of needy children around the world.
“Shop for Good” Charity Shop at the Humanitarian Action Conference offered a variety of customized goods like t-shirts, face caps, note pads, handbags, throw pillows, purses, jackets, cups and so much more, allowing the guests to purchase quality goods.
The Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration ( Office of the First Lady), Dr. Hajo Sani on behalf of the First Lady of Nigeria unveiled the ”Give a Meal” app which was launched at the conference.