By Yemi Adedeji, Abuja
ActionAid Nigerian has launched a £60 million Country Strategy Paper to end poverty within six years as part of its response to the deepening inequality of power and wealth in the country.
It said that the economic and political systems in Nigeria foster capture of power and resources by the elite; a non inclusive growth that promotes social inequality and poverty triggering situations.
Funmilayo Oyefusi, Interim Country Director, ActionAid, while speaking at the launching of SJEP in Abuja, said that 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.
She said that during the strategy period that ActionAid would implement a theory of change which is premised on empowering citizens especially youth, women and girls, and building accountability mechanisms.
“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
“For the period of six years we intend to raise £60 million from institutional donours, 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 that, “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
She said 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.