Foundation partners bank to promote financial inclusion for IDPs

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By Justina Auta

Civitas Auxillium Foundation (CAF), a non-governmental organisation has partnered with First Bank of Nigeria Plc to promote financial inclusion initiatives for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Mrs Elizabeth Duile, Chief Operations Officer and Founder of CAF, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

Duile said through the partnership, the foundation successfully established savings accounts for 80 women residing in the IDP camp located in Wassa District of the FCT.

She highlighted the challenges faced by these women, many of whom had lost crucial documents such as identity cards and National Identification Numbers (NIN).

This she said, hindered their ability to access banking services, obtain loans, and achieve financial inclusion.

According to her, the initiative, known as the CAF-Women Empowerment Programme (CAF-WEP), seeks to combat poverty and empower displaced women through skill-building, financial access, and interest-free loans.

“These efforts are geared towards ensuring that they are economically empowered and can grow their small businesses to skills under our CAF-WEP programme.

“CAF has made strides in empowering women through the CAFWEP interest-free loan program.

“The loans have helped them to start or expand small businesses such as buying and selling of foodstuff, catering, mini marts and farming,” she said.

She said that the challenge of having to pay the women in cash or third party bank accounts necessitated the  initiative.

“This affects accountability and tracking of disbursed funds.

“It also excluded some women who could not present bank accounts to their customers when asked, especially on their weekly market days.

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“So we took a genuine step towards financial inclusion.

“By forging a partnership with FBN,  over 80 women were empowered; these are women that never had the experience and security of a bank account or bank verification numbers (BVN),” she said.

She reiterated the commitment of the foundation to tackling poverty, gender inequality affecting women, especially those who are victims of violent conflicts and acts of terrorism.

“One can only imagine the reality of owning a business in modern times without certain financial tools such as bank accounts.

”This has deprived some customers from making purchases from these women.

“A good number of persons go to the market to make purchases and the only tool they go with is an ATM card, this automatically excludes a category of traders.

“Through these businesses, they make a living and support their families, ensure their children receive education, and contribute to the economy, ’she said.

Duile said that the foundation was also involved in providing support for less privileged children, especially those in the IDPs camps to access quality education.

According to her, this will enable them to explore their potentials and achieve their dreams for the benefit of the nation.

“We need to support these vulnerable children who have been victims of violent conflicts across Nigeria, and most of them reside in the IDP camps.

The “CAF-Kit a child School Outreach Programme’’ provided desk-chairs, books and writing materials to some schools around IDP camps, ” she said.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Kadiri Abdulrahman/Joseph Edeh

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