CSOs, NGOs get €1.7 million to boost social services in Nigeria
• U.S. to strengthen public health emergency management
The Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Voice Nigeria programme, has released over €1.7 million for civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to ensure citizens’ access to social services such as health and education.
The Project Coordinator, Ijeoma Okwor, who disclosed this in Abuja at an event to launch the first phase of grantees under the extension phase of the programme, said charity organisation, Oxfam, gave grants of €100,000 to €200,000 to 15 organisations.
Okwor said the beneficiaries include: YIAGA Africa, Connected Development, Street Project Foundation, Centre for Citizens with Disability and Network of Youths for Sustainable Development.
Stressing the need to be transparent and accountable in utilising funds from donor agencies, she said donors are concerned about Nigeria and how NGOs and CSOs utilise money meant for projects, advising them and other volunteer groups to leverage on the opportunity given to the country by international donors.
“My advice to CSOs is to utilise the little opportunity we have as a country. Let’s make the best of it because if these donors are not here, we still have to do our jobs. Let’s be transparent and accountable in the way we do things,” she said.
Meanwhile, U.S. Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, has underscored the commitment of the U.S. government to strengthen public health emergency management in Nigeria.
She said the country must work towards achieving the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) 2024 targets and the International Health Regulations (IHR) requirements by strengthening workforce development, disease surveillance, emergency response, and laboratory capacity.
Pierangelo, who spoke at the closing and graduation ceremony of a two-week capacity-building exercise on public health emergency management highlighted the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Nigeria in strengthening health security and response to disease threats.
“The U.S. government is committed to promoting the health and wellbeing of Nigerians through initiatives and training that increase disease prevention, detection and response,” she said.
According to a statement signed by the Information Specialist, Public Affairs Section (PAS), U.S. Consulate General, Temitayo Famutimi, about 40 participants drawn from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), state-level ministries of health, Port Health Services, and the military were certified in the first batch of the intermediate-level Public Health Emergency Management Professional Certification Programme (PHEM PC) adapted from the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC).
Famutimi noted that the PHEM PC Programme equipped emergency managers, incident managers, state epidemiologists, first responders, watch managers, and other public health experts with specialised training in crisis and emergency risk communication, public health emergency management functions, and operations.