GLOBAL Citizen, an international advocacy organisation, and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, have created the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund, NSSF, to combat the effects brought on Nigerians by COVID-19 and its associated restrictions.The Fund, to be launched on Thursday, September 3, is set to support vulnerable groups, strengthen Nigeria’s healthcare systems and re-skill the Nigerian youth for a post-COVID-19 era.
In a statement on Wednesday, Tijani Folawiyo, Chairman, Global Citizen Nigeria, said: “We all have a part to play in improving the lives of our fellow Nigerians.
“Now is the time that we can make a difference; whether you are a corporate or an individual there is a role for you.
“In order for this fund to be a success, we need the whole country to get behind us and donate. This fund has been created by Nigerians, for Nigerians for the betterment of our country.”
With an initial target of $50 million, the NSSF hopes to raise donations from Nigerians in the country as well as in the Diaspora, multilateral organisations, philanthropists, high networth individuals, corporates, the public sector and international businesses.
The statement added that grants will be awarded to fund projects that support three core objectives of NSSF.
The fund will target Nigeria’s most vulnerable communities and will vary across initiatives determined by the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund Statutory Board, who will set grant floors and ceilings.
The NSSF has set three core COVID-19 response, mitigation, recovery and resilience objectives, which includes supporting the most vulnerable, targeted at alleviating the challenges faced by the most vulnerable.
Also those most disproportionately impacted by COVID -19, suffering from underlying health conditions, those with poor access to affordable health services, those in low-income, informal and insecure jobs or internally displaced persons; and those who are providing healthcare and other essential services.
The fund also aims to strengthen healthcare systems by helping to build and upgrade existing healthcare infrastructure and provide sustainable capacity towards future response efforts and containment.
It will also help in re-skilling and re-tooling Nigerians by supporting human capital development to address the skills gap required to strengthen the nation’s labour market.
The fund will initially run for 18 months with strong plans to sustain its existence to ensure the overall objectives are met.
Also speaking, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Vice Chairman, Global Citizen Nigeria concluded: “We are proud that as Nigerians we can rally to support the most vulnerable in our society, and we look forward to making a significant impact in combating the tragic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”