CSOs get $19m U.S assistance

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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has released $19.3 million to support Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria to strengthen their capacity.

The U.S. Embassy on Wednesday in Abuja said the money was released in the past five years for the programme to help CSOs to promote government institutions for reforms that improved transparency, accountability and inclusive governance.

“The 19.3 million dollars Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) activity has supported increased engagement and efficacy of civil society to influence public institutions that serve citizens’ interests.

“The activity explicitly engaged marginalized populations such as women, youth and persons with disabilities, and emphasized the importance of leadership and innovation.

“Through SACE, USAID helped civil society organizations strengthen their role as central actors in the development of an accountable, transparent, peaceful, and democratic Nigeria,” said USAID Acting Mission Director, Dr Erin Holleran.

Holleran said USAID had supported 18 primary “anchor” civil society partners, who in turn built alliances and networks with over 200 “cluster member” CSOs.

“These clusters successfully advocated for over 60 policy and legislative achievements at the national and state levels in the areas of health, education, social inclusion, extractive industries, agriculture, fiscal transparency, and economic growth.

“USAID also supported a variety of innovators leveraging technology to promote public participation in good governance, with results such as the `Your Excellency’ gaming app and a constituency tracking app called “ConsTrack.”

“USAID will continue to assist Nigeria’s `Journey to Self-Reliance’ by supporting the work of civil society to strengthen citizen-led groups in advocating for transparency and accountability in governance,” he said.

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