By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
As part of its response to the deepening inequality of power and wealth in the country, ActionAid Nigerian has launched a £60 million Country Strategy Paper to end poverty within six years.
The strategy tagged Social Justice to End Poverty (SJEP) 2018-2023 is aimed at ensuring social justice for all, gender equality and poverty eradication in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launching of SJEP in Abuja, the Interim Country Director, ActionAid, Ms. Funmilayo Oyefusi said that during the strategy period, ActionAid would implement a theory of change premised on empowering citizens especially youth, women and girls, and building accountability mechanisms.
She lamented that the economic and political systems in Nigeria fostered capture of power and resources by the elite; a non-inclusive growth that promotes social inequality and poverty triggering situations.
Oyefusi stated: “We feel that there is so much injustice in the country and that is what is leading to inadequate redistribution of wealth within the country. This strategy is looking at how we ensure that the resources are distributed equally. Then, equity between men and women and also ensure that the female headed households and those who are affected in conflicts and emergencies are able to have a voice and economic empowerment that will help them to live a dignify life
“The strategy is looking at three strategic areas; we are looking at enhancing peoples’ contribution in accountable governance; we are also looking at working to protecting women and girls from violence; we also want to see women leadership in humanitarian settings, the reason being that when there is conflicts and emergencies, women are the most affected. So, Action Aid is an organisation that is biased towards women, so, this strategy is actually looking at women
“For the period of six years we intend to raise £60 million from institutional donors, local fund raising and from high value net worth individuals that can give us money. The money is going to be used in specific areas where we work, we are working in 26 states and 222 communities,” the Country Director noted.
Oyefusi explained further that the community sponsorship was an initiative by ActionAid to ensure everyone donates in support of extremely poor communities across Nigeria, adding that it is a platform to help vulnerable and excluded communities to overcome poverty in the areas of food, education, governance, health and emergencies.
“Community sponsorship is a local initiative in Nigeria and what we want to do is for every Nigerian to give us at least N2000 a month, which translates to N24,000 every year and that would help is in deepening our work in the various states where we currently work. We are now in over 26 states and over 222 communities. We want to be able to reach more communities and what we are saying is that we as distributing resources that will end poverty,” she explained.