Save the Children (STC), an international Non-Governmental Organization with presence in more forty countries of the world, working and advocating to improve the standard of living of those living below poverty line, most especially women and children has reaffirmed sustainable social protection programme as one of the pathways to addressing numerous social issues such as child/maternal mortality, nutrition issues, Healthcare, education amongst others in Nigeria.
The organization made this disclosure on Tuesday, at a 4-day Social Protection Training/Workshop for the Civil Society Organizations and the Media in Kaduna.
According to Saheed Mustapha, Policy Advocacy Specialist, STC, “deliberate investment in Social Protection programmes would help solve mind-boggling challenges caused by poverty at the grassroots in Nigeria”.
Mustapha while addressing the participants at the workshop stated that STC having initiated Child Development and Grant Programme (CDGP) for Pregnant and lactating women with support from Department For International Development (DFID) has been able to impact more than 110,000 women in two Northern States in Nigeria namely: Jigawa and Zamfara.
“Through CDGP – our Social Protection programmes with from support fund from DFID, pregnant and lactating women living below poverty line in Jigawa and Zamfara have benefitted by receiving N4,000 monthly stipends in the last 33 months, amounting to N12 billion expended so far” he remarked.
He stressed that the pregnant and lactating mothers are targeted in the first phase of CDGP- Social Protection so as to address the issues of child/ maternal mortality rate in the country, particularly in northern part of country where there are high figures of citizens living below poverty line.
“With these monthly stipends these women have been able to cater for themselves and their children for the first 1,000 days – from Conception till the child clocks 3 year old” he noted.
This period, according to him, is the most critical to child’s development.