LAGOS: THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has officially ended its Community-based Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CUBS) activity in Nigeria following the end of the project’s tenure.
USAID Mission Director of the in Nigeria, Michael Harvey, joined Minister of Women’s Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina, in a ceremony to mark the end of the support programme.
The beneficiaries and partners of CUBS highlighted the achievements and the way forward for Nigeria’s orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs).
Harvey said USAID would continue to facilitate lasting partnerships and systems to promote tangible policies for OVCs in Nigeria.
“The work for disadvantaged children in Nigeria is far from over. We know this because the 2013 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey indicates that nine percent of children in Nigeria are orphans or are vulnerable due to illnesses of adult household members,” he said.
Harvey added that USAID would continue to work with the government of Nigeria on successor programmes.
The dissemination meeting highlighted how partnerships with the government of Nigeria and civil society organizations (CSOs) could strengthen social welfare systems for OVCs in Nigeria.
CUBS, through a variety of community-based, family-centered approaches, successfully reached close to 50 000 children in 12,500 households, providing food/nutrition, health, education, shelter, psychosocial care, protection, and skills.
A total of 16 000 OVC caregivers received similar services.
In addition, vulnerable families received access to small-scale businesses that ensured sustainability of these effort far beyond the official end of CUBS activity.
At the policy level, CUBS supported the implementation of Nigeria’s National Priority Agenda for Vulnerable Children.
CUBS was a five-year activity funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID.
It has been implemented by Management Sciences for Health in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development, Africare, 11 state ministries of women’s affairs and social development, and 38 CSOs.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY