From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Worried by lack of care for the vulnerable in our society, the Sustainable Mechanism for Improving Livelihoods and Household Empowerment (SMILE), project in conjunction with ActionAid Nigeria, has embarked on a project to scale-up care and support services for about 350, 000 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in Benue and Nasarawa states.
SMILE Development Director, Anselm Nwoke, who disclosed this yesterday during a seminar on Budget Analysis and Advocacy training for stakeholders held in Otukpo LGA of Benue state, noted that there are over 3 million OVCs in the two states, adding the organization is also argeting about 125 household in 17 Local Government Areas in the two states in the next four years.
Neoko said the organization embarked on the project following an agreement entered into with Catholic Relief Services, CRS and the United States Agency for International Development, USAID Cooperative Agreement.
He posited that children in 50% of LGAs in each of the two states would benefit directly from improved state-level capacity.
A breakdown of the figures shows that 249, 746 children are expected to be targeted in Benue, while 71, 678 children are expected to benefit from the project in Nasarawa state.