Sokoto govt to develop multidimensional approach to tackle child poverty – Commissioner

 Sokoto State Government says it is committed to partner with donor agencies and other institutions, on developing multidimensional approaches to combat child poverty in the state.

The state Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Hajiya Kulu Sifawa, stated this on Thursday in Birnin Kebbi, at a two-day capacity building workshop for stakeholders on child poverty and development of multidimensional state action plan to combat child poverty.Sifawa said the workshop aimed at partnering with relevant institutions to have increased focus towards addressing child poverty in the state.“The poverty rate in Sokoto State population, according to the National Bureau of Statics (NBS) in 2019 is 87.73 per cent, and 53.9 per cent of the children are defined as multi dimensionally poor.“

That means children are experiencing deprivation from at least three dimensions at the same time.“This clearly indicated that several child related policies and budgetary provisions are either not in place or are not being effectively implemented or accessed,” Sifawa said.According to her, these policies include food and nutrition, health, education, social protection, water and sanitation, immunisations, gender, human resources and financing.“

As a measure to address the situation, Sokoto State Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, with support from the United Nations Children and Education Funds (UNICEF), organised the workshop for critical stakeholders.“We are here to develop 2021/2022 Sokoto State multi-sector action plan to combat multidimensional child poverty in the state.“To ensure commitment to the prioritisation of child policies implementation and funds investment in 2022 budget and activities, implementation will be secured from the government partners ” the commissioner said.She said that part of the expected approaches was to ensure evidence based budgetary provisions regarding child related interventions or budget lines.According to her, the workshop will pursue prioritisation of child focused policies, strategies and plans as well as implementation, with a view to cushioning poverty among children in the state.

The Facilitator and UNICEF’s Social Policy Specialist, Malam Isa Ibrahim, said the workshop would also serve as drivers to standardise National Social Protection Policy in Nigeria, as well improve collations in the National Safety Nets register.Ibrahim noted that proper programmes would surely strengthen social protection, adding that implementations in Sokoto State would serve as a blueprint for other states to generate impacts.

 The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the event, which was organised by the Spotlight Initiative Project, had as participants the State House of Assembly members, state and local government officials, representatives of civil society organisations and the media.(NAN)