Determined to reduce the population of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in Nigeria, the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, in collaboration with Association for Reproductive Health (ARFH), has set up a Technical Steering Committee on OVC.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Dr. Aina Olugbenga Ayoola, said that the Lagos State Technical Steering Committee on OVC was geared towards improving effective coordination of OVC programming among multi-sectoral actors within the State.
Dr. Ayoola disclosed that “Nigeria has one of the highest population of Vulnerable Children in the world, which is approximately 17.5 million. A large number of children in Nigeria were classified as vulnerable because they lack parental care and support, are at risk of food security and chronic malnutrition, lack of protection, shelter, psychosocial support, education and at the risk of physical and sexual abuse”.
According to the Permanent Secretary, the essence of the programme was to promote welfare and development of Orphans and Vulnerable Children while contributing to the reduction in the number of OVC in Nigeria for significant improvement in the quality of life and wellbeing of all vulnerable children.
On her part, the Country Representative/Senior Advisor at ARFH, Dr. Uche Ralph-Opara, stated that the desire of the organisation to partner with Lagos State was due to its well laid out plan to help ameliorate the situation of the orphans and vulnerable children, adding that the task should not be left for Lagos alone.
Dr. Ralph-Opara promised that ARFH would give the State Government every necessary support to implement the document that would be produced by the Steering Committee for the betterment of Orphans and Vulnerable Children.