The United States’ Agency for International Development, USAID, has in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, launched a new National Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Situation Room at the Ministry.
A statement from the US Embassy reveals that the USAID Mission Director, Anne Patterson joined Federal Minister of Women Affairs Pauline Tallen to carry out the launch.
The new Situation Room will harmonize OVC program reporting and optimize the National OVC Management Information System and harness the power of data to help case managers respond effectively and provide appropriate services to help children affected by HIV in their families and communities.
USAID works closely with the Ministry to coordinate OVC interventions within its broader child protection and women’s empowerment mandate not only to mitigate the risks of HIV, but also to support caregivers to strengthen the economic resilience of their households.
Speaking at the launch, Patterson said the new Situation Room is a collaboration that will help Nigeria prevent violence against women, improve resilience of vulnerable children and their caregivers, and respond to the needs of survivors of violence.
“The mandate of the Ministry of Women Affairs — to promote women’s equality and opportunity and protect women and children from abuse and exploitation — also cuts across all USAID programming.
“This new Situation Room is a collaboration that will help Nigeria prevent violence against women, improve resilience of vulnerable children and their caregivers, and respond to the needs of survivors of violence.”
On her part, Tallen noted that OVC Situation Room will no doubt enhance the data generation and management at the national, regional and international levels.
USAID was also presented with an award of recognition for the Agency’s substantial investments in women and children in Nigeria over the past two decades, auspiciously timed to coincide with the annual 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence commemoration around the world.
Receiving the Award, Patterson said, “We are honored by this award,” Patterson said. “Our support to health care as well as livelihood training for caregivers through the Ministry of Women Affairs, will continue to ensure the nutritional, educational and other needs of some of the most vulnerable Nigerians are met. We look forward to further collaboration to protect children and promote women’s equality.”
Implemented by Palladium, Data.FI is among several USAID activities that help Nigeria provide essential social and health services to nearly 500,000 vulnerable children and their caregivers, including 13,000 children living with HIV.
Last year, more than 19,000 beneficiaries received USAID-supported GBV services in 7,500 government and private health service providers that provided counseling on gender inclusion, and gender-based violence prevention and response.