UNICEF assures support to Zamfara govt to promote social protection 

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The Sokoto Field Office of the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) assured its commitment to continue supporting Zamfara Government to strengthen social protection for the vulnerable people in the state.

UNICEF’s Social Protection Specialist, Mr Isah Ibrahim, stated this on Thursday in Kaduna at the close of a three-day workshop for the validation of the state’s ‘Social Protection Implementation Plan and Monitoring and Evaluation Framework’.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting, organised by the state’s Ministry for Budget and Planning, was supported by the fund.

The workshop was attended by the representatives ofMDAs, State’s Technical Working Group on Social Protection and Zamfara Social Protection Platform (ZSPP).

National growth LS

Ibrahim described the partnership between the Zamfara govt and UNICEF on social protection as an opportunity for the most vulnerable people in the state to access basic needs of lives through various intervention programmes.

He said that social protection was one of the best instruments to fight poverty, adding,”

“this workshop was in line with the fundamental principles of UNICEF’s approach to social protection.”You know, the Nigerian constitution has acknowledged social protection as a right of all citizens.

“The Nigerian Child Rights Act and the child rights/protection laws of most states have affirmed that social protection is a right of all children in Nigeria.”

According to Ibrahim, the workshop was organised in line with UNICEF’s efforts to support the gradual realisation of universal coverage, saying, ”we prioritise the poorest and most vulnerable children and families.

“The aim is to break the cycle of disadvantage across generations and ultimately transform the lives of children and families.

“The current increase in poverty, economic hardship and low income among Nigerians, particularly in poor households, can only be effectively managed and addressed through the well-implemented and realistic social protection programme.”

According to him, Northern Nigeria has the highest rate of poverty and poor social indicators.

Ibrahim said, “The Governors of the 19 Northern states should develop pilot social protection programmes through their social protection measures.

”They should include especially those related to poverty alleviation and social assistance for poor and vulnerable households.”

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Budget and Planning, Alhaji Yazid Attahiru, described the workshop as a welcome development.

Attahiru commended UNICEF’s intervention in promoting social protection programmes in the state.

He said, “Social protection is everybody’s responsibility, therefore stakeholders must work together to achieve the desired goals.

“We are highly impressed with the performance and contributions of the participants which led to the successful exercise.

“Our participants have contributed effectively, we are going to present effective social protection documents to the state executive council for approval.” (NAN)

By Ishaq Zaki

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