As part of activities to mark the 2022 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP 2022), a UK-based charity organisation Christian Aid (CAID), with funding from the World Food Programme (WFP), organised an open space market exhibition to showcase products of beneficiaries of its skills acquisition and empowerment project.
This year’s event themed “Building a sustainable future: Coming together to end poverty and discrimination”, held on October 17, 2022, in Borno State, was organised to showcase the expertise and willingness of the households to contribute to the eradication of poverty.
Speaking at the event, the humanitarian response manager, CAID Nigeria, Alemu Bunaka, said: “The biggest achievement from our humanitarian interventions over the last five years is that some people who needlessly suffer should not suffer. Because of our work, the households we work with will be better off. Our work has brought about lasting impact in the lives of individuals and communities, giving hope to those in despair and reaching out to those hardest to reach”.
CAID has been working with the WFP since 2018 to improve the lives and livelihood of some of the most vulnerable conflict-affected people, lifting them out of poverty by providing food, cash and decent income-generating activities to strengthen their resilience. So far, 22,400 households have benefitted from these livelihood interventions across Monguno, Mafa, Jere, MMC, Biu, Hawul, Kwaya-kusar, Bayo and Shani LGAs in Borno State, the organisation said.
Currently, 1,639 households are benefiting from an ongoing livelihood intervention in Malakyariri community of Mafa LGA of Borno State. This intervention has six components which include aquaculture (fish rearing, fish feed production and fish processing), conditional cash transfer, crop production (dry and wet season farming), forestry and natural resource management (NRM), which is a communal activity for households across the other components. It focuses on reducing the effects of climate change and deforestation through tree planting, livestock and hydroponics fodder production, village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) and 20 different income-generating activities (IGAs). These include food processing, tailoring, cap-making, shoes, bags and other wears, bricklaying, production of briquette and energy-efficient stoves.
According to the organisation, all of these are to meet the immediate needs of the people, boosting economic growth, creating jobs and improving the overall livelihood and well-being of individuals and households.
CAID maintained that the day presented an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts and struggles of people living in poverty, make their concerns heard, and recognise their willingness to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty.
“It is an open space market where our project participants showcase the acquired skills gained and businesses set up from the livelihood intervention. This is an avenue to create market linkages between the community and external consumers. Bringing potential investors to see, assess and patronise the locally made products,” it said.
A statement issued by the organisation posited that to commemorate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, it is reflecting on 19 years of existence in Nigeria and the contribution made to ending poverty in Nigeria.
“Our current seven-year strategy (2019-2026), #StandingTogether, is a bold response to the identified needs of the poor and marginalised. This strategy presents a renewed response to the call to challenge the causes of poverty and transform our world into a place where everyone can experience life in all its fullness. Despite the security issues and constraints in accessing the locations, we are constantly challenging ourselves to reach those hard-to-reach locations because we are committed to what we do, and we have promised to stand together with the most vulnerable people. Christian Aid’s approach to ending poverty creates a multiplier effect and expands the productive capacity of local communities.
“At Christian Aid, we believe that poverty is an outrage against humanity. It robs people of their dignity and lets injustice thrive but together we have the power to transform lives. We will continue to work and amplify the story of conflict-affected populations and jointly advocate better welfare,” it added.