Millennium Villages Project in Nigeria
The Millennium Villages project offers a bold, innovative model for helping rural African communities lift themselves out of extreme poverty. The Millennium Villages are proving that by fighting poverty at the village level through community led development, rural Africa can achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
The MVP has the objective to make sure the project is integrated into the existing state and local government structures. Thus, once the project assistance from donors draws to a close, the project principles, systems and investments will more likely be sustained in the long run. The government and communities know that the project assistance is reduced over the 5 year life span and that they must take over full ownership afterwards.
The results thus far, at both sites, are truly remarkable. Through the MVP concept rural villagers’ lives have been drastically transformed in a very short period of time as a result of effective collaboration, science based interventions in all sectors, knowledge sharing and increased funding. Local institutions have been strengthened due to the technical training provided and increase in resources available to provide services, the local Government, communities and project staff are effectively working together due to a strong partnership built among them, malaria is down due to the use of bed nets, schools have higher attendance rates due to the school feeding program and the construction of additional classrooms, clinics are teeming with people because of the availability of medicine and more health care workers, and subsistence farming is quickly turning into commercial farming due to the availability of improved farming techniques, fertilizer and seeds. The challenge now is how to provide these services to reach the millions of Nigerians living in rural communities that urgently need similar assistance and therefore scale-up the Millennium Villages concept.
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