From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
To address issues affecting the rights and well-being of women in Nigeria, a non-governmental organization, Plan International, has launched a $1 billion global strategy fund to empower about 15 million girls in the country by 2027.
Country Director of Plan International, Charles Usie, made this known in Abuja on Monday, at the Global Strategy Launch 2022-2027, with the theme ‘Girls Standing Strong to Make Global Change’.
Out of the 200 million females targeted worldwide, 15 million will be reached in Nigeria through the initiative, according to Usie, who noted that the goal was to give the girls the confidence to address their problems.
According to him, “Nigeria is one of our biggest country programmes worldwide. Now, in the previous strategy, we had a target of 100 million girls and women. From that target, Nigeria was responsible for reaching 10 million, which is 10% of the global target. In this new strategy, starting from 2022 to 2027, the target is likely to get as much as 10 or 15 million girls for Nigeria for the next five years.
“So the new strategy brings a new focus to girls and young people in many folds. By this we mean we want, in the next five years, to build that strength in a movement of young people and girls to tackle the issues that young people face, particularly young girls. We are an organization that has made the issues of young girls and our primary objective. So, in Nigeria, what strategy will help us to achieve these?
“In the area of education, health care, livelihoods, protection? What’s on sanitation? What are we going to do for young girls when it comes to all of these services? That’s the first thing. The second question will be? Where will these girls be? What is the state of Nigeria and that is why we are doing this in conjunction with the Federal Minister Of Women Affairs”, he explained.
In his remarks, Stephen Omollo, Global Chief Executive Officer of Plan International, said that societies prosper and experience favorable and long-lasting effects when attention is paid to the rights of girls in the areas of politics, health, and education. He also noted that the plan was intended to address humanitarian issues as they affected women and children.
“We are looking at how to expand its reach and work with the partnership and grow investment to work with young people in Nigeria. We are here in Nigeria to launch this global strategy, which really pleases us as Plan International, working with partners, and in Nigeria to progress the issue and advance children’s rights and equality for girls.
“We are here to discuss issues on how we can together, accompany the government of Nigeria, to say that we can address the humanitarian context in the country and address issues that impact on children.”
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, represented by the Director, Child Development Department, Ali Madugu, assured the group that the ministry would continue to support efforts to advance the rights of girls and that a budget line for girls’ education would be added going forward.