In a bid to further address major challenges facing Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Women in Lagos, the State Government, through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, is ready to strengthen its collaboration and partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Lola Akande, disclosed this during a courtesy visit by representatives of the USAID/Nigeria to her office in Alausa, while reiterating the present administration’s commitment to alleviating the suffering of the less privileged through empowerment.
In her words, “The Government is committed to alleviating the suffering of the orphans, vulnerable and people living with HIV/AIDS in the State by allowing them to undergo short term vocational training which can make them self-reliant and earn income to support their needs.”
“Early this year, about 500 vulnerable persons and people living with HIV/AIDS were enrolled and empowered with starter packs by this administration in a three-week training programme sponsored by the government.”
Akande added that the Government was prepared to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with USAID to establish a collaborative relationship on building capacity and systems related to the provision of quality HIV/AIDS services as well as strengthen domestic resource mobilization for health programs.
Earlier, the Leader of the USAID team, Acting Deputy Director, Dr. Bassey Nsa stated that the courtesy visit was to foster partnership between Lagos State Government, the Global Fund, Civil Society and private sector partners towards evidence based planning, improved State legislative and legal framework as well as improved budget planning and execution in the health sector. The team also sought greater State ownership and oversight supervision of the programmes and projects.
According to him, USAID/Nigeria mission wished to formalize its development agenda in Lagos State for a shared vision and responsibility through the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State Government, noting that the MOU will define a monitoring and evaluation framework that would allow periodic review of programme investment, results and quality of services which will ultimately lead to enhanced State ownership and utilization of program data for strategic investments.
A Technical Committee comprising the Director of Child Development Mrs. Alaba Fadairo, and Director, Women Affairs Mrs. Sola Falana as well as representatives of USAID was constituted to work out the modalities and drafting of the MOU.