The Cross River State government has commenced plans to register 30,000 poor and vulnerable households pushed into poverty as a result of economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is part of the Rapid Response Register of the federal government under the national social safety-net programme.
Speaking in Calabar while giving an update of the registration, the State Operations Coordinator SOCU-CR, Mr Chris Anake, said the programme targets mostly urban poor households and individuals pushed poverty by the pandemic.
He said a community driven approach will be deployed because the community themselves know what makes people poor and the programme has nothing to do with politics or politicians.
“108 enumerators have been trained across the state for the action to get more persons correctly registered into the Poor and Vulnerable Register and we are targeting 30,000 households.
“Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic some self sustaining low income households in semi urban areas have come under hardship due to the loss of income.
“The federal government is aware of these vulnerabilities brought by the pandemic and in partnership with the world bank is targeting semi-urban households nationwide for some form of support.
“Households for the Rapid Response Register will be identified via a combination Satellite Technology, SMS enabled registration and physical verification on ground.
“We will also deploy a community driven approach and politicians are avoided completely.
“Communities determine the criteria that makes people poor, we undertake community profiling to ascertain the things that make people poor in each community”, Anake said.
He explained that the excercise offers the state more opportunities to capture more persons and include them into the State Single Register of Poor and Vulnerable persons.
He disclosed that the state has one of the least number of persons in the National Single Register of Poor and Vulnerable Persons and this will help address this and also reduce the poverty index of the state.
The pilot phase of the project was done in Lagos and Abuja and it provided valuable lessons around communications and advocacy, adding this helped in shapping the engagement and setting the tone for the countrywide implementation.