By Joy Odor
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a new activity that will improve livelihoods and strengthen the resilience of 15,000 rural vulnerable households against environmental, economic, and social shocks and stressors.
Speaking in a ceremony, the Acting Deputy Director for USAID’s Economic Growth and Environment Office, Mr Jodi Kaye Wade joined Maxwell M. Gidado, Chief of Staff to Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, to launch the two-year activity, known as Building Sustainable Livelihoods in Nigeria.
“Poverty in northeast Nigeria has been driven by years of prolonged crises emanating from violent extremist groups,” Ms. Wade said.
“This results in a lack of investment in agriculture and industrial development. There is an urgent need for tools and investment to enable productive livelihoods and to establish trust, social cohesion, and community resilience.”
Through 2023, Building Sustainable Livelihoods will help unlock the economic potential of these rural households — more than half headed by women — across three conflict-affected local government areas (LGA) of Adamawa by helping increase their income, food security and resilience through agricultural-led growth.
Engaging women in agriculture and other economic activities will decrease unemployment in Adamawa and contribute to its economic growth.
Through its agriculture-led approach, Building Sustainable Livelihoods will engage stakeholders to address poverty and malnutrition, increase access to safe and affordable financial services through private sector-led investment, and include a behavior change component to help beneficiaries improve nutrition and hygiene through training on food safety and utilization for healthy living.
Agriculture remains the major livelihood source in the region, especially crop production and animal husbandry. While more than 60 of the region’s residents have been displaced by conflict since 2014, these areas are now considered to be in a recovery phase with farmers resettling into their communities.
With communities, government, and local leaders, the activity will strengthen local capacities and coordinate public-private sector-led partnerships to grow the local economy through interventions focused on women and youth in a sustainable manner.
Building Sustainable Livelihoods is managed by Nuru Nigeria, a local nonprofit organization leading a team that will work in close collaboration with other USAID activities operating in Adamawa.