Christian Aid (CA), a UK-based Non-Governmental Organisation, on Thursday launched a seven- year strategy plan worth 50 million pounds for Nigeria.
The CA primarily focuses on fighting poverty, solving humanitarian crisis and promoting development for the period 2019 to 2026.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that CA, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and related organisations, is partnering with other stakeholders to end poverty in Africa,
Mrs Amanda Mukwashi, the Chief Executive Officer of CA, who launched the programme in Abuja on Thursday, said that the initiative was hinged on the theme “Standing Together.’’
This, she said, would cover key programmes aimed eradicating poverty as well as promoting justice, dignity and love in Nigeria.
The plan, according to Mukwashi, would also cover areas such as democracy and good governance, health and human development, as well as humanitarian and sustainable livelihood in the country.
Mukwashi said that the NGO was committed to fighting poverty, including the economic, political and social structures causing it.
“For us as Christian Aid, we tackle those structures at the power level, we identified those structures and we deal with it.
“We at Christian Aid cannot sit comfortably in our churches when we know that our people outside there are suffering, not just in Nigeria or African countries, but in Asia, Middle East and countries of other continents, ” she said.
Mukwashi said that Nigeria had the largest programmes of the NGO when compared with its intervention in other countries in Africa, Asia, North America and the Middle East.
She said that the implementation of the strategy had the potential to lead to growth and achievement of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mukwashi stressed the need for political will and collective efforts to address poverty as well as promote increase in women participation in politics and development policy.
The Country Director, Christian Aid Nigeria, Charles Usie, while presenting an overview of the seven- year strategy plan, said poverty had robbed the people of their dignity.
He said that the vision of the NGO was to have a just, equitable and peaceful Nigerian society “where poverty is eradicated and everyone is empowered to live life in all its fullness.”
Usie said that the main thrust of the strategy would be at the local government and community level.
He said that the strategy was planned to be achieved by mobilising and empowering the poor and the marginalised to gainfully engage their own development.
“This will be done by working in partnerships and building a movement to challenge the systems that promote and perpetuate poverty, inequality and injustice’” he said.
He said that the NGO had strategically positioned itself to address the need to reach the population through quality and innovative approaches.
” For instance, in the North East, we have presence in Mugun, one of the local governments in Borno which shares border with Chad Republic. That is how far we have gone.
“We have our members of staff there and support over 70,000 people, with life saving interventions.
“We are not development visitors. We are present in the communities and working with people who suffer as a result of crisis, ” he said.
Usie said part of the strategy was to prioritise response to humanitarian crisis where ever it happened in Nigeria.
He called for the collaboration of all stakeholders in the realisation of the plan as a coalition.
The Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, in his good will message, described poverty in the country as a huge problem, adding that a multi dimensional approach was required to address it.
Omo-Agege, represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Otive Igbuzor, said that poverty was man-made and could be eradicated with actions from the three arms of government, private sector and civil society organisations.
“At the level of the Senate, the deputy senate president is committed to serving as a hub for reform to deal with issues on representation, oversight and lawmaking,” he said.
(Edited by Olabisi Akinbode/Mufutau Ojo)