Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced plans to convene a national conference on disability and women empowerment which would be in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq, who announced this in Washington DC, disclosed that government would also liaise with USAID and the World Bank to finance a large-scale programme for disability and women empowerment in the country.
In a statement released by the Special Adviser on Media, Halima Oyelade, she said it is part of the package of takeaways and successes achieved by the Ministry during the US-Nigeria Bi-national Commission meeting held on February 3 and 4 in Washington DC, the United States.
Sadiya said her “ministry will work with the World Bank to convene a conference on disability and women empowerment led by the Federal government, Ministry of Women Affairs and other relevant MDAS and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
“The Ministry and the World Bank Mission in Nigeria will convene a meeting to discuss modalities and areas to reallocate funds within the International Development Association (IDA) to focus on programmes for disability and women empowerment.
“The disability and women empowerment programme will especially cater for the welfare of the disabled in the country and vulnerable women. The programme will be run in concert with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.
“The programme would be delivered through conditional cash transfers, which is targeted at the most vulnerable segment of society.”
She revealed that “the ministry is working to sharpen the modalities for implementing the programme on disability and women empowerment programme.
“Recall that the media in Nigeria widely reported that the United States Government had pledged humanitarian assistance worth US$40million for Nigeria in 2020, while USAID was willing to contribute to the process of early recovery after the Ministry meets some conditions.
“The Minister held meetings with USAID, World Bank and US Institute for Peace (USIP), all of which identified areas for collaboration and various forms of support for the Ministry.
“They expressed willingness to share experience and research with regards to the programmes of the Ministry,” she said.
To kick-start the programmes, a meeting has been set up for next week with the Senior Programme Officer, Africa at the USIP, Oge Onubogu, to commence collaboration in information and experience sharing with the Ministry’s technical working group.