Cash for Communities in Northern Nigeria: Grants for At-Risk Groups
Though Nigeria is one of the wealthiest nations in Africa, it also has one of the highest rates of childhood malnutrition. In northern Nigeria, low household income, volatile food prices, and recurring annual food shortages have left an estimated 800,000 children at risk of severe malnutrition. In response to these alarming numbers, Action Against Hunger and Save the Children are teaming up to provide support for nutritionally at-risk and food insecure populations in northern Nigeria through an initiative called the Child Development Grant Program.
In northern Nigeria, low household income, volatile food prices, and recurring annual food shortages have left an estimated 800,000 children at risk of severe malnutrition.
Cash Grants Help Families
This program, which began in March of this year, aims to provide monthly cash grants to 60,000 vulnerable households over the next five years. Most of the grants will be given to pregnant women and mothers of young children, as good maternal and infant health are critical to the prevention of malnutrition. Reliable cash transfers will enable the women who receive the grants to buy enough food for their children without depleting their household income. Instead, any additional money they make can go towards livelihood activities like starting a business or farming their own food, which will help them better provide for their families in the long term.
Support Groups Empower Women
The grant program will also help establish community support groups for women to share information about nutrition, hygiene, breastfeeding, and other essential health practices. These groups will empower women to support one another, share ideas, discuss new techniques, and promote healthy living within their own communities. The groups also serve as a forum for women to let us know how they are spending their grant money, so we can tailor our programs to meet their most crucial needs.
The support groups also serve as a forum for women to let us know how they are spending their grant money, so we can tailor our programs to meet their most crucial needs.
In addition to involving communities in sustainable solutions to hunger, we also help government agencies build their capacity to help vulnerable citizens. Eventually, the goal is to encourage local governments in northern Nigeria to provide the grants, and to expand the program using their own resources. With support from government agencies, other aid organizations, community leaders, and donors like you, we can help thousands of mothers and their children lead healthier lives.
Tell Us What You Think
Have you ever been a part of a support group or community group? What about it was most meaningful to you?