Financing social protection interventions key to reducing poverty — EU

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Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Massimo De Luca, made this call on Friday, during the 3rd edition of the Social Protection Cross-Learning Summit (SPECS) in Abuja.

The Summit was organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Social Protection Development Partner Group (DPG), with the theme: “Social Protection Towards Human Capital Development.”

Mr. De Luca described social protection as a fundamental pillar supporting the most vulnerable and poor households, thus providing not only a safety net, but also a beacon of hope for poor and vulnerable individuals and communities.

He stressed that social protection plays a critical role in human capital development by providing safety nets that ensure access to essential services such as education, health, and nutrition, including contributing to economic stability, poverty reduction, and inclusive growth, laying a strong foundation for the overall development of the country.

He made reference to a World Bank’s report, which put Nigeria’s poor at 104 million or 46 per cent in 2023. “Investing in social protection means investing in our collective future, fostering resilience, and ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the society despite background, location or uncertainties.”

The EU official reiterated the commitment of the EU to collaborating with the Federal Government towards addressing issues around poverty in the country, adding that the EU is supporting Nigeria’s social protection sector to the tune of €46 million in its 2021 to 2027 programming, with the aim to support system strengthening and design of social safety nets programs.

He said: “Already we are finalising processes with UNICEF and GIZ to implement the project in the focal states. The intervention would support the strengthening of social protection system which looks at interoperability of related database, and ensuring functional shock responsive social register, while supporting three states in the North East with safety nets programme that targets climate change affected communities.”

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