EU Allocates €46 Million to Combat Poverty in Nigeria

By Joke Kujenya

NIGERIA HAS received a significant boost in its efforts to combat poverty, with the European Union (EU) announcing a grant of €46 million for the country’s 2021-2027 poverty alleviation programme.

The announcement was made by Massimo De Luca, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, during the 3rd edition of the Social Protection Cross-Learning Summit (SPECS) in Abuja.

De Luca emphasized the importance of this grant in addressing poverty across Nigeria, urging both federal and state governments to increase their financing for social protection initiatives.

He highlighted the collaboration with UNICEF and GIZ, indicating that the implementation of the project in selected states is already in its final stages.

Referencing a World Bank report, De Luca pointed out the alarming statistic that 104 million Nigerians, or 46 percent of the population, were living in poverty as of 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 society, regardless of their background, location, or uncertainties,” he stated.

The EU’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to tackle poverty was reiterated, with De Luca outlining the intervention’s objectives. The programme aims to strengthen the social protection system by improving the interoperability of related databases and ensuring a functional, shock-responsive social register.

Additionally, it will support safety nets in three North Eastern states, focusing on communities affected by climate change, adding that this substantial financial commitment from the EU is a vital step in addressing the pervasive issue of poverty in Nigeria, promising significant improvements in the lives of many vulnerable citizens.

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