From Femi Oyelola Kaduna
A Group, Save the Children International (SCI), has said 64 million people in Northern Nigeria are extremely poor, saying that many households barely have enough food to last one quarter of the year.
The National Programme Manager, of the Group, Karina Enye made the disclosure during the inauguration of Child Development Grant Programme Phase II (CDGP II) in Kaduna yesterday.
She added that 43 per cent of the Kaduna State population are living in poverty, while 50 per cent of children under five years are stunted.
Karina Enye explained that Child Development Grant Programme Phase II (CDGP II) would focus on system strengthening, evidence generation, advocacy and capacity building, with particular emphasis on child-nutrition sensitive social protection.
(CDGP II) according to her will support the establishment of child-sensitive social protection policies and programmes kaduna state, adding that the goal was to reduce malnutrition and hunger through the reduction of economic and social vulnerability.
Enye described social protection as public policies, programmes and systems that helped the poor and vulnerable individual and households to ensure social status of human rights.
“It is also to improve their ability to cope with risks and shocks and reduce economic and social vulnerability,” she added.
The programme manager disclosed that the programme was extended to the state following the successes recorded in phase one of the project implemented in Zamfara and Jigawa States by SCI and Action Against Hunger.
“The project with support from the British Department for International Development (DFID) expended N11 billion on unconditional cash transfer to more than 93,000 pregnant women and women with children under two years.
“The two states have now set aside N2.0 billion to implement state-financed social protection programme. This is commendable, she said.”
SCI Country Director, Deirdre Keogh, further said that the CDGP II would focus on system strengthening to ensure sustainability of the programme.
Similarly, DFID Social Development Adviser, Samantha Coope, noted that the state was doing well in reaching out to vulnerable women and children, adding that the CDGP II would strengthen the programmes through legislation.
The wife of the Kaduna State Governor, Ummi El-Rufa’i, who officially launched the CDGP II, thanked Save the Children and DFID for extending the programme to the state.
According to her, the programme will give children a good start in life and assured the corporation of government agencies for the success of the programme.