The US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria on Friday announced a N2.9 million micro-grant to 50 women caregivers to support the economic wellbeing of their families, particularly the vulnerable children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in five local communities in Apapa Local Government Area of Lagos.
Under the US Ambassador’s PEPFAR Small Grants Program, a local non-governmental organisation, Blissful Life for Women and Children, will provide training to the beneficiaries of the micro-grants in the areas of business and vocational skills and trade mentorship, and will receive trade articles and supplies.
Ten older orphans and vulnerable children whose parents are living with HIV will also benefit from the training. Blissful Life for Women and Children is one of 27 local organisations that have received funding under the US Ambassador’s PEPFAR Small Grants Program in fiscal year 2017.
At an event held in Lagos and attended by senior local government officials, health, and community leaders, Acting US Consul General Will Steuer said, “The people and government of the United States continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Nigeria and Nigerian families in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“Today’s event highlights the importance of supporting families, especially children who are affected by HIV/AIDS through programmes that not only support treatment for the infected, but also to improve the socio-economic wellbeing of families affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as the PEPFAR Small Grants Program seeks to do.”
Beneficiaries of the various training programmes are expected to empower themselves and their families by building small businesses that will create more reliable income flows and improve their standard of living.
The US-Nigeria partnership on HIV/AIDS began in 2004 through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). From 2004 to 2016, United States support for HIV prevention, care, treatment, and support programs in Nigeria has totalled more than 4.3 billion U.S. dollars in support of the Nigeria HIV/AIDS response.