Social Transfer for Emergency Response in States affected by Insurgency and Fulani Herdsmen Conflict in Nigeria

Social Transfer for Emergency Response in States affected by Insurgency and Fulani Herdsmen Conflict in Nigeria

In December 2014, Caritas Nigeria implemented an emergency response project that supported 11,060 Households in some dioceses (states) in Nigeria that were affected by the insurgency in the North Eastern part of Nigeria and the Fulani herdsmen conflict in the middle-belt.

The project provided Supplementary Rations in a one-off distribution which addressed food needs Households. The Project initially targeted 2000 families in all. But in view of the overwhelming population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) whose food needs ought to be addressed, and in order for the diocesan Caritas offices not to cause any form of disaffection amongst the IDPS, Caritas Nigeria decided to provide Supplementary Rations in a one-off distribution.


Similarly, in October, 2014 Caritas Nigeria also distributed food items to families who fled their homes in Gwoza, Borno state in the wake of massive attacks on them perpetrated by the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic sect, and are now residing in a squatter camp in new Kuchingoro, behind the Games village in Area 1, Abuja.  The food items distributed enabled over 50 Households (approximately 350 individuals) on an average of seven persons per household to address their immediate food needs. These projects were supported by Caritas Internationalis (CI).


Integrated Emergency Response (IER)

In late 2012, Caritas Nigeria joined state actors like National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), CRS, and the Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to carry out a joint-assessment of flood-affected areas in Nigeria. Thereafter, Caritas Nigeria partnered with the local diocesan Caritas to distribute food and non-food relief items as well as cash transfers to various communities in five affected states in the wake of the 2012 flooding (Delta, Edo, Anambra, Imo and Cross River States).

In 2013, Caritas Nigeria joined with CAFOD, CRS and Lite Africa to support 6 flood-affected communities namely; Kpakiama, Esanma, Ogbein-ama, Adobu, Bedeseigha and Aven around Bomadi and Patani Local Government Areas in Delta State, through its Integrated Emergency Recovery (IER) program.


The IER was a 6-month grant-funded with a focus on addressing immediate needs among more vulnerable groups to reduce the risk of diarrheal disease (through provision of ‘Safe Water’ Kits, Hygiene Promotion and Rehabilitation of damaged boreholes), and to provide support for post-flood survival (through provision of Cash Grants). To complement this, the project supported livelihoods recovery with a focus on agricultural activities.
The goal of the program was “to enable the most vulnerable households affected by the recent flood recover their livelihoods in selected communities in Delta State.” The entire IER program aimed at ensuring that 2,500 households (17,500 vulnerable persons) had adequate access to integrated emergency response, through the provision of unconditional cash transfers, Livelihoods recovery and WASH interventions.


One of the beneficiaries of the IER project has this to say; “This is the first time ordinary people like us in this community are actually benefitting from interventions like this. We are grateful to CCFN for reaching out to the poor like us,” – Opuamba Prosper, a member of Bedeseigha community in Delta state.
The program witnessed some behavioural change with regards to improved hygiene practices like hand washing in some of the communities. They also have gone ahead to construct Tippy Tap in some of the schools and homes where Caritas Nigeria conducted sensitization and awareness creation activities.


In general, the program was successful within the communities; it met the objectives for which it was implemented. The lives of the beneficiaries were better off with the program; through unconditional cash transfers, which enabled beneficiaries to feed better and meet their basic needs as well as made many to open bank accounts for the first time in their life time; the livelihood component of the program enabled fishermen and farmers to recover their means of livelihood and income generation; and the WASH component led to improved hygiene, sanitation and reduction in the incidence of diseases for 3,500 individuals within the communities.


The IER program started from May, 2013 and ended in October, 2013. It was funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO), through the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as Prime Recipient.


Response to Food Insecurity in the Sahel Region

Caritas Nigeria response to food security in the Sahel Region supported 991 households comprising of 9,798 persons in selected communities in Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara and Jigawa states, financially through unconditional cash transfers to improve their livelihoods, and they also received hygiene and sanitation education.

The goal of the food security project was to “enhance access to food in the Sahel region in Northern Nigeria at the height of the Sahelian food crisis.” The project was targeted at the poorest and most vulnerable households such as households with large numbers of children and households headed by widows and disabled or aged persons.


The project strategies included an initial cash transfer pilot (in one community in Sokoto State) was done in 2012 with support from Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Caritas subsequently received independent funding from Caritas Internationalis to implement a one-year cash transfer and food voucher program in seven communities in Zamfara, Katsina and Jigawa States, in collaboration with the local Caritas.


Caritas Nigeria worked with the Justice Development and Peace/Caritas (JDPC) Desk Officers, to directly provide support to the target beneficiaries. Caritas Nigeria also collaborated with other Civil Society Organizations like the Federation Of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN) and Jumaat Nasir Islam (JNI) to provide adequate support in the target communities.


The project was supported by Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Internationalis and ran from May 2012 – July 2013.


Building Capacity on Anti-Human Trafficking

In 2013, Caritas Nigeria organized a one day inaugural/capacity building meeting for Organizations and Church Partners working in the areas of Anti-Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration in Nigeria.

The purpose of the meeting was to sensitize participants about the various dangers associated with Anti-human trafficking and Migration and also to awaken their consciousness to constantly engage in activities that discourage this modern day slavery in volatile communities and societies.


The session drew 30 participants from Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Committee for the Support of Dignity Of Women (COSUDOW), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), Lagos Archdiocesan Catholic Women Organization (CWO), OLA Sisters Ajara and Catholic Youths Organization of Nigeria (CYON), etc.


Awareness-creation in Uromi

Caritas Nigeria conducted awareness creation activities in Uromi, Esan North East of Edo State due to the high rate of travels of young boys and girls in the community, searching for greener pasture abroad.

The target of this awareness creation activities were parents. The choice of the audience was necessary because majority of trafficked victims/survivors attested to the fact that they had travelled to alleviate the suffering of their parents.


In other words, it means the children sacrificed themselves to salvage the financial plight of their parents, although they usually never opened up to their parents about the fact that they were involved in sex business. Hence it was very important to bring to their knowledge what our girls suffer in Europe and other parts of the world just to make ends meet.


The topic for the awareness creation was titled an “Overview of Human Trafficking: The way forward” Main highlights of the talk centred on:
Definition of the term trafficking in persons with its constituent elements i.e Acts, Means and Purpose.
Forms of trafficking in Persons.(Internal & External)
Causes ie poverty, greed, ignorance, get-rich-quick syndrome and peer influence.
Effects: physical torture or abuse, Health hazards, Emotional trauma, psychological and Spiritual trauma.
At the end of the exercise, the followings strategies were proposed as ways to eradicating human trafficking:
Participants as stakeholders in their respective communities as civic group members were urged to be active and alert to know what happens in their surroundings so as to assist vulnerable persons and their families from falling prey to traffickers by enlightening their understanding on human trafficking.
Women should act as agents of change and instil good morals in their children right from home. These morals shape them from childhood to adulthood to face the realities of hard times.
Parents should desist from the culture of wealth celebration which often time instigate their children to go in search of money damning all negative consequences.
Youths in the community should report suspected cases of trafficking to the Anti-human trafficking desk in the nearest police station or report to NAPTIP via their toll free lines. Reports can also be made to the JDPC Office in the Diocese to assist in investigating and making appropriate referrals to the law enforcement agencies.


Sensitization of Alushi Community

Illushi is a farming and fishing community in Esan South East of Edo state, Nigeria where its children are usually sought after for domestic jobs in neighbouring towns and far away cities due to inability of their parents to cater for them.

This prompted a sensitization and awareness creation visit to the women group of the community to think first before sending their children to slavery in the name of fosterage or assistance.
The sensitization message centered on human trafficking and child labour with its antecedent effects. The talk which was done in pidgin language for their understanding took the following order:
What is Human Trafficking and Child Labour

Types of Human trafficking
Effect of Human Trafficking and Child Labour on the person and society at large.
Major routes of victims across border.
The way Forward:
Women groups to act as watchdog in the community, Women should desist from pressuring their female children to travel abroad in search of greener pastures, Women pay visits without notifying the homes their children are living to ascertain the type of maltreatment melted out on them, Women engage in more meaningful activities or trade that will help them cater for their children.
Women protect fellow women in society and disassociate themselves from associations or company which promote practices that dehumanize the dignity of women in society.
Women should preach the gospel of contentment to their children and dissuade them from searching for empty promises of a bright future outside Nigeria or even lure them into travelling.
If opportunities are available to travel, well informed choices be made to avoid falling prey to traffickers.
Families in rural areas desist from wealth celebrations and imbibe the concept of contentment.
The women welcomed the idea and thanked the desk officer for bringing this message to their door step as most of them were ignorant that their children could be prey to traffickers and abusers.


Commemorating World Day Against Human Trafficking

Caritas Nigeria Anti-Human Trafficking and Migration Desk provides National coordination for the Catholic Church in Nigeria. The program is aimed at combating human rights abuses, human trafficking and irregular migration.


Caritas Nigeria supported the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPCs) and other sister organizations in enlightenment campaigns; raising awareness and consciousness of people about the vices and dangers of Human Trafficking which is referred to as modern day slavery. On February 8th, 2015 the  Church marked the World Anti-Human Trafficking Day the feast of St. Josephine Bahkita through enlightenment campaigns to create awareness of this vices in parishes across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria.


Also working with diocesan Caritas and sister agencies, the organization provided psychosocial and livelihoods support for trafficked victims as much as it could while also providing linkages to agencies that can provide more help for trafficked victims.


Working more on prevention, Caritas Nigeria has tried to reduce the vulnerability of young active adolescents and women in some of the Dioceses by starting up businesses or opening shops for skills acquired to enable them cater for their needs and that of their families thereby reducing the prevalence of falling prey to traffickers in those areas and ultimately reducing poverty which is acclaimed the root cause of human trafficking in Nigeria.


2015 World Day Against Child Labour

Children as we all know are often time helpless and vulnerable to vices and as such there is a need to raise their consciousness on their rights and obligations in order not to fall prey to exploitation/abuse and slavery-like practices.


According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 168 million children are trapped in child labour. More than half of them, 85 million, are in hazardous work. This persistence of child labour is rooted in poverty and lack of decent work for adults, lack of social protection, and a failure to ensure that all children are attending school through to the legal minimum age for admission to employment.


To mark this year’s World Day theme “No to Child Labour – Yes to Quality Education”, Caritas Nigeria worked with its 55 diocesan partners to implement sensitization activities to draw attention of parents, guardians, religious/community leaders and Nigeria at large, to this social ill against children.


Caritas Nigeria tried to focus its messages particularly on the importance of quality education as a key step in tackling child labour. Which was highlighted by ILO as being very timely, due to the fact that in 2015 the international community will be reviewing reasons for the failure to reach development targets on education and will be setting new goals and strategies


The World Day Against Child Labour was marked on 12 June, 2015.


Blood Donation Drive

As part of activities for the Caritas@5 Anniversary celebration commencing next week, a  Blood Donation Drive will be carried out in Abuja in collaboration with the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS).

The three-day exercise will commence daily by  9 oclock in the morning and close by 4 PM in the evening and will last from 7th to 9th October, 2015. The venue of the exercise is the premises of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria which also hosts the country office of Caritas Nigeria.

According to the  coordinator of the drive, Alexandria Ogaga, the exercise is aimed at  imbibing among Nigerians a culture of regular blood donation to save lives as well as mobilize massive donation of blood into the NBTS blood bank in support of patients in dire health emergencies at the various healthcare facilities in the Federal Capital Territory.

The drive will be targeting staff of the organization, residents of Abuja along the Durumi/Area 1 Garki axis as well-meaning Nigerians in other parts of the city.



Caritas is U-report partner

Caritas Nigeria is among partners for the U-report initiative of United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
U-report is a free sms based platform that empowers citizens to speak up on issues that concern them. By this new partnership, experts from Caritas Nigeria will be involved in responding to questions from members of the society on specific topics namely HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and gender-related issues.

Participation in the program is open to all members of the society and is simply by texting JOIN to 24453 (FREE) to become a U-reporter. More information is available on the u-report website, or following on twitter (@UreportNigeria) and Facebook ( U-report Nigeria).