The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, in collaboration with the United Nations, has organized a 3-day capacity-building training for the development of Cash and Voucher Assistance Policy.
Declaring the training open, the Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, who was represented by the Director, Alhaji Grema, said the workshop was aimed at sharpening the shared understanding of the relevant stakeholders on the use of Cash and voucher Assistance.
The Minister noted that the workshop will also strategically position the trainees to identify, design and develop an inclusive national policy that will strengthen the institutional capacity and operational environment of Cash and Voucher Assistance in Nigeria.
“It is a known fact that today Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) is rapidly expanding modalities for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Nigeria.
“In 2019 alone, 39 partners implemented CVA across 38 out of 61 Local Government Areas in the BAY States and this has continued to multiply in various part of Nigeria,” she said.
The Minister, however, said that despite the achievements recorded by CVA, there are several operational challenges faced by the operators.
“This could be attributed to lack of nationally-driven framework to strengthen and support emergencies.
“Several actions have been taken towards the actualization of the agenda which included, but not limited to, the Ministry assuming the chair of the National Cash Working Group who has been tasked with the responsibility of facilitating the policy elaboration, among other issues,” she added.
For his part, the Head of OCHA Office in Nigeria, Trond Jensen, said the workshop is a step towards actualizing the Ministry’s 7-point agenda to strengthen the humanitarian environment in the North-east and by extension all parts of Nigeria.
According to him, CVA is all about giving people the chance to make their choices through the instrument of cash.
“The people in the camps have other needs different from what we thought they had.
“One of the main elements in the agenda stipulated development of a national policy to strengthen the operating environment for Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) in Nigeria.
“This workshop is the first step among other processes in actualizing this objective.
“The ongoing Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) is the primary framework for UN and NGO-led humanitarian action in Nigeria; including commitments to support the use of CVA to meet needs, as appropriate, and coordinate closely with the Government.
“The National CVA policy (NCVA) is expected to complement the HRP, provide clarity on the use of CVA to meet needs among the poor and vulnerable and improve the operational environment for CVA uptake by overcoming bureaucratic bottlenecks.
“The policy is also expected to support commitments, already enshrined in other national policies i.
the recently approved National IDP policy, facilitate financial inclusion and access to social protection among target groups.
“The use and scale of CVA has evolved over time in Nigeria, in accordance with contextual shifts and changing needs.
Since 2013, the humanitarian community has scaled up CVA response starting from about 100,000 people targeted in the 2012 National flood response to sectoral and multi sectoral responses in Food Security, Early Recovery, Shelter&NFIs, Protection, Education and Multi-Purpose Cash reaching over 1 million people monthly in the BAY states,” he said.
Mr Jensen added that this accounts for about 44 percent of the total humanitarian response.
Also speaking at the event, the Social Policy Specialist, Results Manager for Social Protection and Officer in Charge Social Policy section, UNICEF, Temi Esteri Fet’era said CVA will go a long way to help people make their immediate needs.
She noted that CVA also provides for social inclusion, hence giving parents the opportunity to enroll their children in school without preference for the male child.
Humanitarian Ministry trains stakeholders on Cash, Voucher Assistance Capacity