from the left, Health, Nutrition and Resilience Section, Delegation of the European Union to the Federal Republic of Nigeria & ECOWAS, Chioma Osuji; the BRICC Programme Director, Mr. Dez Byamukama; Country Director Mercy Corps Nigeria, Ndubuisi Anyanwu; the European Union Head of Cooperation, Tassin-Pelzrr Cecile; , Chief Executive Officer, Y’ello Digital Financial Services (YDFS) a subsidiary of MTN Nigeria, Usoro Usoro and the General Manager, Regional Operations (North) MTN Nigeria. Hajia Amina Usman during the Building Resilience in Complex Crisis (BRICC) Partnership sign off ceremony between Mercy Corps Nigeria and MTN Nigeria at the Mercy Corps Office, Utako, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida 06/05/2021
By Abayomi Adeshida, Abuja
The European Union has pledged its total commitment to supporting efforts to collaborate among non-government agencies to ameliorate the sufferings of the victims of insecurity in the North-Eastern part of the country as activities of bandits and religious extremists continue to widen the gap between the people and access to finance and sustained livelihood just as over fourteen thousand households are set to benefit from special funding by the European Union system in Nigeria.
These and other promises were contained in the brief remarks of the EU Head of Cooperation, Tassin-Pelzer Cecile who also commended the Building Resilience in Complex Crisis (BRICC)’ programme during t’s signing off ceremony in Abuja.
In her brief remarks, Ms Cecile who noted that cash transfers are often more efficient and effective than other forms of aid said: “Cash provides beneficiaries with the means and flexibility to decide and prioritise their recovery.
” It also supports local markets and economy, laying the foundations for communities’ recovery and resilience. Cash transfers are effective in addressing negative coping strategies such as poor diets or debts.
” It is very important that Mercy Corps continues to work with the government to strengthen the State Social registry of the most vulnerable linking beneficiaries with the social protection programme., she observed.
In his brief remarks, while giving an overview on the initiative, the Country Director, Mercy Corps, Mr Ndubuisi Anyanwu said, “The major goal of the BRICC programme is to build the resilience of communities, by providing them with the capacity and resources to respond to shocks and stresses, which have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cash supports beneficiaries to respond to their basic needs and survive economic hardship,
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” Automated cash transfer also reduces the cost and security risks associated with the transfer and direct distribution of cash,” he submitted.
Speaking earlier while commenting on the collaboration, Chief Executive Officer, Y’ello Digital Financial Services, Mr Usoro Usoro said his organisation is committed to ensuring that every Nigerian is able to seamlessly access financial services for their personal and business needs.
In his words, “To do this, we constantly seek partnerships to support the financial inclusion strategy of the federal government. We are truly excited about this arrangement with Mercy Corps and the possibilities.
” With over 150,000 agents spread across the country, we are poised to deliver easy and fast cash transfers to beneficiaries of the programme in Yobe State and other locations within the country where required,” he stated.
Mercy Corps’ ‘Building Resilience in Complex Crisis (BRICC)’ programme funded by the European Union, signed a new partnership with Y’ello Digital Financial Services (owners of the MoMoAgent Network), a subsidiary of MTN Nigeria, to efficiently deliver automated cash transfers and provide an avenue for programme participants with or without bank accounts to receive funds.
This partnership will kick-start the use of MoMo Agent in the distribution of conditional and unconditional cash transfers to 14,270 households in Damaturu and Potiskum LGAs in Yobe state.
The European Union is funding Mercy Corps to implement an array of early recovery interventions across North-East Nigeria which involve cash assistance to vulnerable households and young people to help restore and improve livelihoods, making them more resilient to conflict and climate shock and stress. COVID-19 has aggravated the impact of the conflict in the state, affecting market opportunities and increasing unemployment. Of the participants that will be given cash transfers, 1,570 youths will receive funds to help them start a business after undergoing vocational training like automobile repairs, agribusiness, fashion designing, food business, and phone repairs, among others.
The presence of MoMo agents in communities where BRICC is implemented means faster and more efficient means of delivering cash transfers without participants having to wait in long queues. With an agent base of over 150,000 across the country, MoMo Agents provide safe, fast and easy access to financial services for customers through their widespread presence and reliable service.
This partnership with Mercy Corps provides a unique opportunity to extend these benefits to the most vulnerable families in Yobe State and other conflict-affected states in the North East.
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future. Since 2012, Mercy Corps has been working in the most marginalized regions of Nigeria to deliver urgent, life-saving assistance to about 600,000 beneficiaries and build the resilience of Nigerian communities.
With the crisis entering its 11th year, the European Union (EU) is leading efforts to support the needs of the people affected by the protracted conflict and its impacts in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
The EU recognises the need to go beyond lifesaving humanitarian assistance and start early recovery activities where possible, and to strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable. To this end, the European Union has allocated more than EUR 245M of development assistance to support the recovery of livelihoods and basic services, whilst building social cohesion and strengthening delivery by the government authorities, across the three worst-affected States.
This approach is in line with the EU’s integrated approach to conflicts and protracted crises, which seeks to build on humanitarian interventions and to ensure coherence between all political, security, development and humanitarian instruments at our disposal.
Yello Digital Financial Services is a subsidiary of MTN Nigeria Africa’s largest provider of communications services and the operator of MoMo Agent service. YDFS is a financial service provider in agency banking and super-agent operation under the CBN Super-Agent framework and agent banking guidelines to provide amongst other services, an agent network to serve financial institutions and Mobile, Money operators, in Nigeria.
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