By his passion to touch the lives of Imo people through his various empowerment programs, Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, on Monday officially launched the United Nations Development Economic Revitalization Support Programme (UNDP).
The program which took place at Concorde Hotel, Owerri, had in attendance, top government officials from both Imo and Abia States respectively.
High-level representatives from States and Local Government Areas, civil society groups, traditional institutions, women groups, young stakeholders, development experts, innovators and other relevant government agencies.9News Nigeria was present.
Speaking during the launching, Uzodimma stated that the program was launched to eradicate poverty and improve the business and the economic life of Ndi Imo.
The Governor charged the focal persons of both Imo and Abia States to make sure that those who qualify for the empowerment program are the ones that will benefit from it.
Indeed, UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa,, Ms Akunna Eziakonwa, hinted that the program was for the interest of those whose businesses were affected during the outbreak of the Covid19 Pandemic all over the world.
She revealed that the impact of COVID-19 is multi-sectoral and has imposed sudden death and radical shifts in the lives of the people and as such has further caused infections, and untold hardships to the most vulnerable more adversely on the poor in hotspot locations across the nation, saying “the aim of the project is to support selected vulnerable communities affected by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19”.
The Special Adviser to the Imo State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Focal Person NSIP’s, Princess Christina Ude, said “we are aware of the impact of the pandemic on the lives of many poor citizens.
Such has brought about untold hardships to the vulnerable, mostly comprising of women, people living with disabilities and the youth.
The aim of the project is to support selected vulnerable communities affected by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. The intervention will support the reduction of risk and enhance the resilience of poor and vulnerable population who are at risk”.
She continued, ” this marks another milestone in the lives of the Vulnerable Households from communities affected by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in Imo State”.
Ude noted that data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that Imo and Abia States have the highest unemployment rate in the country.
Therefore, to safeguard national progress towards the SDGs, UNDP’s economic revitalisation programme in Imo State- will ensure the continuation of livelihoods, employment and businesses as the project programme seeks to address the socio-economic challenges posed by the pandemic in affected communities.
Uzodimma’s Aide reiterated that the implementation of this project will be carried out through a collective partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the State Governments of Imo and Abia States.
Speaking, the Abia State Governor, Dr Victor Ikpeazu who was represented by his Permanent Secretary, affirmed that, the program will help in the empowerment of unemployed youths and women of the selected LGAs in the state.
He assured of his government full partnership in making sure that the program will record a huge success.