United Nations Association of Nigeria today marks International Poverty Eradication day 2022 with targeted intervention for different categories of people. This three-in-one event took place at Ikoyi Lagos. International Poverty eradication day is celebrated among other reasons to acknowledge efforts of people living in poverty.
In its efforts to alleviate poverty, United Nations Association of Nigeria(UNAN) joined global audience in celebrating this day with strategic interventions.
In her welcome remark, the President of the association, Joan Agha stated “It is indeed our collective responsibility to eradicate poverty and this can be achieved through better work culture within our organizations, better support systems and greater awareness of poverty impact and its resultant effect on our economy and security”. “The poverty level in the nation is going beyond what an average person can handle and something had gone wrong somewhere within the system” Agha said. Joan Agha also emphasized “we must know poverty eradication is not an act of charity but an act of justice”.
Joan Agha also noted “As a nation and for each and every one, a burden we must urgently act on should be what can we do to ensure our citizens, people have a decent life”.
To Joan Agha “The focus or women and youth has become paramount because when we empower a woman the world is better economically and when we empower the youth the future is assured”.
Going beyond the rhetoric, the President and Members of United Nations Association of Nigeria (UNAN) had taken bold steps to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty through a targeted intervention for women and youths thereby reiterating and putting to practice the shared responsibility we all hold to eradicate poverty in the society.
Also speaking at the event, Ambassador Ayo Olukanni, former NACCIMA Director General and a member of Board of Trustee of United Nations Association of Nigeria(UNAN) commended the effort of the President and members of the association for the initiative.
Ambassador Ayo Olukanni said “We live in a world full of poor people with minimal access to what makes a decent life worthwhile, especially for many in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, empowering indigent women with the grant provided as well as some 10 youth-led small scale business/start-ups is one of the best things an association like UNAN can do for now”.
Ayo Olukanni encouraged members and executives of UNAN to spread their fund raising nets across vital sectors as there are many philanthropic organizations willing to partner with the association in some of its laudable projects focused on women and youth.
To Ambassador Ayo Olukanni, “women, youth led initiatives are receiving attention globally today with the ’no-one should be left behind principle of equity’ A vital clause in this regard though is that for many to access these opportunities, accountability and structure are vital.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the global poverty index, with no country or region left out. This day indeed serves as reminder to all that we truly have a role to play in eradicating poverty for all through steps we can take as individuals, private sector, organized private sector, civil societies and public sector to ensure we reduce and eventually eliminate factors perpetuating poverty and preventing these people from realizing their rights through the following: working under dangerous conditions, lack of nutritious food, unsafe and unhealthy living conditions, unbalanced justice system and zero access to affordable healthcare. In view of the foregoing.
One other highlight of the event was a business development talk made by the Vice President of the association, Dr. Omopeju Afanu. In her speech, Dr. Peju emphasized “There is a need for excellent customer service and a strategic focus on customers ‘needs as a major weapon for business growth and success among other factors.”
In the past one month, UNAN has empowered over 60 youths through a Youth Empowerment Training for entrepreneurs and impact-preneurs. During the event of today, UNAN is providing Business grants to 10 youths and 20 indigent women which was a result of a thorough and highly rigorous vetting process and nominations respectively.
Many of the grant awardees could not hold their joy as they expressed their gratitude to tUNAN for such opportunities with untold capacity to boost their various start-ups. One of the 10 selected youth led start-ups, Grace Ewaoluwa, a 200 level Psychology student of University of Lagos and a start-up owner of Grace Entertainment, Production and Event Services said “I am grateful to UNAN for this offer. This grant will help in increasing our corporate capacity to serve our clients better”.
Also, among the 20 selected indigent women running small scale business, Mrs. Favour Oladipupo could not contained her joy when she said “I am thrilled that this is a reality. Till now, I do not believe any organization will give support during this trying season so I am thankful to UNAN members”.
While doing the closing remark, UNAN official, Busola Oladunjoye, thank everyone present including the grant winners for their patience and tenacity and encouraged they make good use of the money. She said “Our monitoring and evaluation team will also follow up with each and every one of you so we can ensure good use of the funding.