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ARC-P and the Burden of Lifting Vulnerable Children out of Poverty…

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Offor DavidsonApr 28, 2023
ARC-P and the Burden of Lifting Vulnerable Children out of Poverty…

Saddened with the proliferation of poverty in the country especially among the most vulnerable, and the need to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by the year 2030 as promised by the President Muhammadu Buhari's administration, various policies and programmes have been initiated to tackle the menace of poverty.

One of such poverty eradication programmes is the At-Risk Children Programme (ARC-P), domiciled in the Office of the Vice President and supervised by the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment.

ARC-P’s sole responsibility is to cater for the vulnerable children and youths that are out of school, in street situations and/or outside of family care with no formal structure to protect them and safeguard their welfare and rights.

Created in 2021, the ARC-P had its inauguration in Gombe and has spread across many states mostly in the North and South-West parts of the country. States like Sokoto, Borno, Ekiti, Niger, Nasarawa and Ondo have ARC-P presence now!

ARC-P and its handlers have an arduous and onerous task of lifting 47.4% (around 47 million) of children that are estimated to be currently living below the National Poverty line of 374 Naira a day.

Another burden facing ARC-P is the millions of children not fully protected, many of them deal with violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation, exclusion and/or discrimination every day.

It is estimated that about 53.9% (almost 54 million) of children face multiple deprivations in health, education, nutrition, water, sanitation and protection, ARC-P must find a way in addressing this issue too.

These and many others face the vulnerable child on the street daily.

It is critical to note that the journey of lifting 100 million people out of poverty by the year 2030, or the road to lifting the vulnerable children from the streets and getting them back to school will not be an easy one. However, conscious and deliberate efforts by the government will definitely smoothen the burden.

With the introduction of ARC-P and many of such programmes by the present administration coupled with the promise by the incoming government led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to build on the achievements of the outgoing administration, indeed, the future looks bright for the vulnerable children and the poor in the country,

With ARC-P launching in the South-East and South-South states in the nearest future, it is expected that the spread of the Programme will be felt nationwide, and its core vision and mission accomplished to the fullest.

A vulnerable child today on the streets may be a great innovator tomorrow.

Offor Davidson

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