Livelihoods & Agriculture
Livelihoods are activities that allow people to secure the basic necessities of life, such as food, water, shelter and clothing. Every person on earth has the right to a livelihood – the right to be given a fair opportunity to put their knowledge, skills and abilities to work to provide food and shelter for themselves directly, or to produce something which they can exchange for their basic needs. Sadly, many persons in Nigeria today are denied this most fundamental human right. Half of the Nigerian population lives on less than 2 dollars a day, and at least one third live in extreme poverty.
There are many reasons why an individual or a family may be unable to meet their own basic needs. Natural disasters or conflict can disrupt livelihoods and render persons completely dependent on external sources for food, water, clothing, shelter and healthcare. These persons require some form of assistance to become self-sufficient once again. More challenging however, are the widespread structural inequities which deny people access to education, land, markets and jobs, thereby keeping them chronically underemployed and poor.
Investing in livelihoods is central to Caritas Nigeria’s mission of enhancing human wellbeing in a holistic and dignified manner. Livelihoods are more than just a means to stay alive – a person’s livelihood helps to define who they are, gives them a sense of self-respect and makes an impact on every aspect of their wellbeing. Caritas and her partners work with individuals and communities to help them identify ways in which they can acquire the human, financial, social, and physical capital required to work productively and live with dignity. Caritas Nigeria also works at the level of policy advocacy to challenge social structures that deny Nigerians their right to decent livelihoods.
Caritas Nigeria Livelihoods Program
Caritas Nigeria is currently partnering with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) on a livelihoods program with a cash transfer component in Sokoto State and the Federal Capital Territory. The program is funded by USAID with CRS as the lead agency (prime), Caritas Nigeria as the lead indigenous partner and Mercy Corps as a technical partner. Caritas Nigeria is working with a number of local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including the local JDP\Caritas in Sokoto and Abuja, to implement the program.
The goal of the SVH project is to help 42,000 very poor households in Sokoto State and the FCT grow their agricultural produce and incomes and improve the nutrition of their women and children. Target communities have been identified and mapped and assessments carried out on CBOs and other partners who will be working with CCFN on project activities in selected communities. Government partners have also been engaged in Sokoto State and the FCT in preparation to commence implementation of activities.