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Salt Newsletter June 2021

Salt Newsletter June 2021

Bridging the gap

Fiscal justice in sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. 

Co-mingling Faith and Health:

Alarmed by the health statistics of Nigerians, Christian and Muslim faith leaders are advocating for improved and accessible health services for all and contributing to the actualization of universal health coverage. Leveraging on faith leaders influence and networks remains a veritable approach to mobilize and engage community or congregational members in a sustainable way. Faith influence has also been recognized as a key element in the community health and social justice response. Therefore, Christian Aid is continuing to work closely and in partnership with NiNERELA+ and its network of faith leaders to use their influence to address critical issues that affect the poor and marginalized. The drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is essential to improve access to quality health services. Being a strong influence even on the health choices of their followers, faith leaders in Benue State and the FCT are being equipped to play an active role in ensuring better health outcomes for citizens. Through a 2-day technical meeting held with selected leaders in the FCT, advocacy priorities and plan for faith leaders on universal health coverage was developed. It also provided the opportunity to sensitize 22 religious leaders on UHC and the opportunities faith communities can take advantage of in supporting indigent members. The media advocacy campaigns focused on pushing for the actualization of UHC and community health insurance financing by faith leaders lends effort to reach beyond their immediate congregation. Using radio, it faith leaders explore how faith congregations can support attainment of UHC. Christian Aid is working in partnership with NINERELA to ensure that the influence of faith is harnessed to achieve improved and quality health for all.

Christian Aid Nigeria’s Covid-19 response actions

Tackling the infodemic of COVID-19 The nature of the Covid19 pandemic has brought on an infodemic that needs to be tackled as urgently and seriously as the clinical symptoms of the disease itself. In the light of this, it is critical that the public is informed by credible experts, however, in some of the states where we work, awareness creation on the virus has been pre-dominantly urban-based, thereby leaving out those in rural areas with limited access to information channels. This has presented a huge opportunity for misinformation, myths and misconceptions to drive people’s actions and reactions such as the refusal or unwillingness of some citizens to comply to the standard preventive procedures. Information equity is therefore very crucial at this point along with the promotion of health-enhancing behaviours such as proper handwashing. Given this and our niche of reaching the unreached; especially the most vulnerable and those in the most hard-to-reach areas, Christian Aid in Nigeria is bridging the information gap by targeting those with limited access to information, either because of barriers such as language or lack access to information sources or those with little or no contact with the government or other external bodies. We have adapted and continue to disseminate official COVID-19 messaging on prevention, symptoms, transmission and key facts about the virus to bridge the language and access barrier that has been identified, creating awareness and improving the knowledge of the target population on prevention measures. Produced in a variety of formats suitable for different groups such as non-English speakers (7 local languages) and non-literates, we are also targeting the elderly, pregnant women, children, people living with disability, traditional rulers, Faith groups and actors. They include audio-visuals, animations, print materials (posters and handbills) and radio jingles for varying information channels. Given the nature of the communities, efforts are concentrated on using radio, church and mosque public address systems to provide accurate information in accessible ways. Working with INERELA+ Nigeria through its state chapters and networks, we are also leveraging on the huge influence of faith leaders by facilitating the use of theological teaching on radio to guide congregation response on covid-19 and address myths and misconceptions.   Existing community platforms and networks such as Community Disaster Management and Mitigation Platform (CDMMP), Disaster Management and Mitigation Platform (DMMP), media agencies, Community Based Monitors (CBMS), partner organizations, Town Unions and COMEN have also been used for information dissemination. These already established community structures have gained the trust of their communities over the years and are key influencers in promoting new behaviours such as physical distancing and frequent handwashing.  Christian Aid and partners have also leveraged on activities such as food distribution and others to sensitise and integrate messaging. Capacity building and Social Mobilisation Through the difficult times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Christian Aid Nigeria is supporting vulnerable households to stay safe and maintain/increase their source of livelihood.  This has been done through the strengthening of communities’ capacity for covid-19 preparedness and response in Benue State. 75 community front liners constituting of social mobilizers, Community Spokespeople, Faith Leaders, Primary Health Care contacts amongst others were selected and trained for preparedness and response actions. The preparedness training was extended to build the resilience capacity of 100 caregivers and 100 household heads by training them to produce home-made handwashing liquid soaps and sanitizers as a strategy to cushion economic hardship of the lockdown policy and to promote hygiene practices within the households. Internally Displaced People (IDP) and members of host communities in Maiduguri, Jere and Dikwa were also trained to produce soap and face masks as a livelihood boosting activity.   Adapting emergency interventions In Northeast Nigeria thousands of households still suffer from food shortage and depend on supplies from development agencies. While we continue to deliver life-saving food assistance to IDPs across different camps in Borno State, we are fully committed to the safety of those we serve even in this difficult time and in the changing context.   This is demonstrated by key mitigation strategies that have been employed. One of such is the introduction of double rationing since April. This strategy ensures that distribution exercises are reduced from a 1-month to a 2-month basis as it provides beneficiaries with food for 2 months. In addition to the adherence to social distancing during community engagements and distributions and the provision of PPE for staff and volunteers, hand washing stations have been established at distribution sites.    Long term commitments Christian Aid remains committed to ensuring that marginalised and vulnerable populations can survive the secondary impacts of the pandemic with dignity and that it does not erode the huge strides made towards drawing people out of poverty. Actions with more long-term effects have therefore include data collection and analysis of the effect of covid-19 on the livelihood of marginalised groups to influence decision-making. This was done in Anambra and Kaduna States through the Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development. The C19 NALPER project also provided the opportunity for facility and household assessments, providing key data for covid-19 interventions in Borno, Benue and Kaduna States. 

Christian Aid Launches Nationwide Youth Development Fund

Christian Aid Nigeria has provided £30,000 as seed grants to six youth led/focused organisations across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. Working in partnership with leading youth Non-Governmental Organizations, Connected Development (CODE) and YouthHub Africa, through and innovative fund approach, a nationwide Youth Challenge Fund was launched to address the marginalization of young people in governance structures by providing young people with the opportunity to deliver innovative solutions to identified challenges within their communities.  The project seeks to increase youth participation in community development and ensure youth become partners and leaders in development — where they are charged with creating a sustainable change that is measurable in their community.  Speaking during the launch, Christian Aid Nigeria’s Country Director, Charles Usie said: “The fund is in recognition of the immense capacity of young people to address some of the growing developmental challenges across communities in Nigeria, if given the opportunity and required resources. We have therefore put this in place as part of our mandate to end poverty in Nigeria.”  According to the Chief Executive of CODE, Hamzat Lawal, the government must understand the growing importance and potential of young people and consider their contribution to nation building. Lawal called for increased financing, education and technical support for Nigerian youth as this can greatly impact on the future of the country. He also urged the Federal Government to fulfil its obligation to the youth by increasing youth participation on all policies that affect young people. Through funding from Christian Aid, CODE will sub-grant the selected organisations with a total of Thirty thousand pounds for their innovation to solve some of the difficult challenges limiting young people. While many projects of this nature seek to work with young people in the urban areas, the project will work with youths who are typically marginalised, excluded and who otherwise would have limited access to participation. CODE’s project lead, Lucy James, stated that young people have some of the most promising solutions to contemporary problems and we hope to learn from this, especially from those in the grassroots who have the capacity to act, utilizing their skills and ability to improve their own lives. The Sub-grantee Organisations: Foundation for Equitable and Sustainable Human Advancement (FESHA) is a youth led disability inclusion organization focusing on Health, Advocacy, and economic empowerment. It seeks to empower people living with disabilities with information on the provisions of the law, rights and obligations of disabled persons as citizens. Justice Development and Peace Caritas [JDPC] Nnewi is a Faith Based Organization that has Youth Empowerment and Development as one of the core thematic areas of its operation. It aims to strengthen participation of youths in Government policy implementation for Communal Development and Peace Building. Women and children in support of community development initiative (WOCCI-Nig) is a national Non-Governmental Organization that seeks to provide community based programs that provide access to education, health, emotional and psychosocial services, and economic opportunities to vulnerable individuals and households. Increased resilience and sustainable livelihood of youths within project communities Hope For Family Development Initiative (HFDI) is an initiative that seeks to improve the lives of marginalized and vulnerable groups. HFDI believes that marginalized and vulnerable groups are faced with unique issues and challenges which require empowerment, skills acquisition training and better community understanding for them to cope with their exceedingly difficult conditions. Spotlight for Transparency and Accountability Initiative levitates standard of transparency and accountability in government (subnational governments) through citizen participation in governance. This project seeks to empower young people across 17 LGAs in Yobe State through multidimensional Capacity building on how to hold government to account for their spending using digital technology and improve service delivery on Health, Education and WASH Access to Learning and School (ATLAS) Initiative is creating a platform called Enriching Lives Through Education (ELiTE) to empower young girls and boys in Ikorodu LGA, aged 17-25 with essential life skills, functional skills and access to platforms for learning - ensuring access to inclusive and equitable quality education.

Gender lens to the UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights briefing

In this briefing, ACT Alliance sets out its analysis and recommendations concerning the UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights ahead of the negotiations taking place in October 2019.  Business principles do not always converge with human rights principles. In various dimensions, from violence against women, to women’s economic participation, to tax, trade and investment, the gendered disparities are not resolved uniquely by market participation and growth dynamics. In fact, the growth-based model often puts women and other individuals who are marginalised in disadvantageous positions, ie, trapped in poverty, in unequal power relations and subject to abuse and violence. We believe that in order to ensure respect for human rights, we need binding rules on business and human rights at all levels, including respect for human rights, conducting meaningful human rights due diligence and adequate reporting, as well as access to remedy for victims of human rights abuses.

An economy of life briefing

An economy of life: How transforming the economy can tackle inequalities, bring climate justice and build a sustainable future Our vision is that global institutions genuinely represent and are accountable to the interests of everyone, not just the rich and powerful. This means confronting the institutional structures, including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), cultural norms and power imbalances that work together to maintain the status quo. We need to look for new expressions of economic life. Measures of economic growth overlook human and environmental wellbeing. It is time re-evaluate. This briefing challenges the World Bank and IMF to be part of this change and to become of a progressive and positive force in an economic future that leaves no one behind and is beneficial for nature and the climate.

Press release: changing the course of under-five mortality in Nigeria

Our Partnership for Improved Child Health (PICH) project in Benue State, Nigeria, closed in August 2019. Read our press release to find out what we achieved and how communities have adapted. Every year, hundreds of thousands of children under the age of five years in Nigeria do not live up to their fifth birthday due to preventable childhood illnesses such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and severe acute malnutrition. Most under-five death occurs in remote, hard to reach communities where caregivers are faced with physical, social and financial barriers to access health services. Christian Aid , through this project, has empowered communities to take ownership of their own health by improving knowledge and health-seeking behaviour, giving hope in despair, and saving children under five who face imminent death due to barriers of access to and uptake of quality health services.  This project was funded by Christian Aid supporters and UK Aid Match from the UK government. 

Christian Aid Ethiopia newsletter July 2019

Latest updates from Christian Aid Ethiopia on our programmes, including promoting women's entrepreneurship in sustainable energy, meteorological services, drought recovery, veterinary services, education and water projects. Projects featured include the EU-funded Breaking the Barriers project and the DEC drought response.

Joint Country Programme newsletter - July - Sept 2018

A new country director, piped water comes to villages in Mumbeji, advocating for tax justice and more...

Contribution to International Development Report

Christian Aid welcomes Scotland’s first Contribution to International Development Report. In particular we commend the breadth of the report, its links to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the shift that it represents towards a more holistic ‘policy coherent’ approach to tackling global poverty.   

Humanitarian response to populations affected by violence in Konduga

A Christian Aid (CA) humanitarian response programme funded by the European Union’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations has reached more than 40,000 people affected by the conflict in Konduga area, within Borno State. Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) are the major response areas which has targeted the most vulnerable persons. ECHO has empowered Christian Aid to support access to food for the most vulnerable persons in Konduga through cash based interventions. The food security response targeted 18,000 people through a cash transfer intervention to help the vulnerable access food. Those reached through food assistance are spread across five communities within Konduga Local Government Area, in Borno State.

Leave No One Behind and Global Equity: Reviewing our shared commitments

Briefing released during the UN High Level Political Forum 2016, about our shared commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Introduction to Power Analysis

Power analysis is the frameworks, principles, knowledge and tools for understanding those who have the abilities to create or resist change.