UNICEF lauds KDSG for dedicating 1% IGR  to fund social protection programmes.

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UNICEF lauds KDSG for dedicating 1% IGR  to fund social protection programmes.

By:Femi Mustapha

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has Kaduna State Government for  dedicating one per cent of the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to fund social protection programmes.

Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office,Dr Zakari Adam, made the assertion at the inauguration of the state’s Social Protection Policy by Gov Nasir El-Rufai in kaduna on 23rd February,2021

He also commended the state government for developing the policy, saying  UNICEF will support the State to deliver inclusive social protection interventions to poor and vulnerable households

Adam added that UNICEF would work closely with the state government to ensure that poor and vulnerable households access social protection interventions that would ensure the growth, survival, and development of children.

“UNICEF is also excited to hear the state government commitment to develop a legal framework to drive the social protection agenda.

“This quite commendable and we are on ground to support you every step of the way,” he said.

In her remarks,Chairperson, Kaduna State Steering Committee on Social Investment Mrs Amina Atoyebi,  thanked the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for supporting the state to develop the social protection policy.

Atoyebi said that the FCDO, through its Child Development Grant Programme (CDGP), being implemented by Save the Children had provided the needed capacity, financial and technical support in developing the policy and the Implementation Plan.

She reiterated El-Rufai-led administration’s passion about providing a level playing field for citizens by prioritising access to education, health, and skills for the poor and vulnerable.

She said that the Kaduna State Government has taken proactive, deliberate, and concerted steps towards entrenching social protection through a policy that provides a framework for the holistic and strategic delivery of social protection.

“Since 2015, much work has been done around social protection like social insurance, social assistance and labour market interventions.

“Some of the programmes include free education, School Feeding Programme, Contributory Health Insurance, Contributory Pensions, Kaduna State Women Empowerment Fund (KADSWEF), and the Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan.

“With these interventions, we have seen poor rural dwellers form cooperatives, pool resources and enhance their livelihoods.

“We have seen children who otherwise would be on the streets attend school because of the government’s free education policy and school feeding programme,” she said.

She added that women have also been empowered with funds and skills through the KADSWEF programme which indicates the government’s resolve to provide the requisite safety nets to the poor and vulnerable citizens.

The Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, described social protection as a “right” of citizens, adding that Kaduna State has taken steps to deliver on such rights.

Baba said that the actions of Gov Nasir El-Rufai administration were aimed at laying a formidable social protection floor that would provide a cover for the poor and vulnerable in the state.

“Every passing day, the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the society calls for an urgent response that is both innovative and proactive.

“We are happy that today we are launching a policy that will strengthen the state capacity to adequately respond, prevent or at least mitigate the challenge of poverty and vulnerability.

“Today’s event marks the beginning of the journey that will deliver the noble social protection measures laid down in the policy document.

She commended the unwavering support of Save the Children International through funding from Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), under its Child Development Grant Programme.

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