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Harsh economy may force more displaced persons into poverty – UN

Country Representative of the United Nations Women in Nigeria and ECOWAS. Ms Beatrice Eyong, says the current economic situation may force more displaced persons in to extreme poverty.

Daily Trust reports that Nigeria has over 133 million people living in multidimensional poverty, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)

Speaking at an Economic Summit in Abuja on Thursday, Eyong said, “Women and girls living with HIV, Women living with disabilities, older women, indigenous peoples, refugees, Displaced Persons and migrants, will experience severe poverty and exclusion if the current economic situation persists.”

Eyong said UN Women in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and other partners have been working to support these different groups institutionally and technically to enable them to contribute to national development.

On the essence of the Summit, she explained that it sought to build on ongoing efforts as well as to ensure that the various groups were included in policy and programmes to enable them to achieve their full potential.

Dr. Otive Igbuzor, Founding Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, in his keynote address, identified the reasons for the failure of the Social Investment Programmeb(SIP) of the Federal Government.

The SIP includes the N-Power programme aimed at providing job opportunities for unemployed Nigerian youth; the National Home Grown Feeding Programme designed to provide nutritious meals to primary pupils across the country as well as the Conditional Cash Transfer(CCT) programme that targets the poorest and most vulnerable households in Nigeria.

He pointed out that the National Gender Policy which provides for 50percent affirmative action has been observed in the breach by Nigerian government.

He affirmed that the development of any country requires the participation of both men and women, adding that women have been historically marginalised in all areas, including social, economic and political spheres.

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