Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says that in the last five years it has reached nearly 250,000 vulnerable Nigerian children affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and their caregivers.
A statement from the US Embassy in Abuja on Wednesday noted that since 2014, the Local Partners for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project in Nigeria Region 3 (LOPIN 3) has provided these families with discrete linkages to treatment and health care services.
These include psychosocial support, protection services, household economic strengthening, job skills and seed funding for small business startups, education and nutrition counselling.
USAID Mission Director, Mr Stephen M. Haykin, said that this activity helped these populations obtain equitable access to quality health services and helped community health systems become more responsive to their needs.
He said providing referrals to access health care and protection services along with education and job training strengthened resilience within vulnerable households.
Working at the community level, the $10 million LOPIN 3 mobilised 26 indigenous civil society organizations to improve their systems, programme management and administrative capacity.
It also strengthened the ministry of Women Affairs, AIDS control agencies, and other organizations to provide a better response to the epidemic and its affected populations.
The project was operated in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Adamawa, and Kano states.
In concert with two other sister activities with the same project goals, the LOPIN activities covered a total of nine states. Through the three LOPIN activities, USAID has supported more than half a million children orphaned or otherwise affected by HIV and AIDS.
-0- PANA MON/MA 9Jan2019