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Danjuma-led VSF begins third phase distribution of COVID-19 palliatives

Danjuma-led VSF begins third phase distribution of COVID-19 palliatives
November 25
18:04 2020

The Theophilus Danjuma-led Victims Support Fund (VSF) taskforce on COVID-19 says it has commenced the third phase distribution of food items and personal protective equipment (PPE) to vulnerable people. 

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The taskforce was inaugurated in April to provide food, medicine and other essentials for internally-displaced persons (IDP) and other vulnerable people in the country and to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement on Wednesday, the group said it has carried out the first and second phases of the intervention between April and June 2020.

VSF said it commenced the third phase last Thursday with the distribution of food and PPEs to internally-displaced persons as well as the most vulnerable people in communities in the federal capital territory (FCT) and seven other states in the north-west and north-central.

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According to the statement, items such as rice, beans, maize, vegetable oil, salt, and PPEs will be distributed to 40,886 households and approximately to 204,330 direct beneficiaries across Kano, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, Plateau, Benue, and agencies in the FCT.

The group said the state governments will receive 50 percent of the food items while local civil society organisations (CSOs) will distribute 50 percent directly to IDPs and vulnerable people.

Speaking while presenting relief materials to the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs (NCFR) on Wednesday in Abuja, Toyosi-Akerele Ogunsuji, chairperson of the taskforce, said VSF is complementing the effort of the commission in alleviating the hardship of vulnerable persons.

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“We understand the significant work you do in providing support to refugees throughout the country. We have been following some of the interventions you have also made in terms of doing trainings, setting up hand washing stations, donating food to refugees in Cross River, Ebonyi, Katsina, Lagos and all that,” she said.

“Basically what we have come to do today is to consolidate on what your agency have been doing, especially because general Danjuma has given us a clear mandate that whatever we are doing should be in line with the general response strategy of the federal government.

“When we leave here today, we are going to make our contribution to the National Council for Women Society and then we move to Zamfara state tomorrow, after Zamfara we move to Katsina on Friday and then to Kano on Saturday, then to Kaduna on Monday.

“We talk more about enduring intervention. From this phase we have drawn the curtains on donating food items because we have done distributing food to 19 states across the 6 geopolitical zones. Now we will be moving on to distributing 54 boreholes in 18 different states within the 6 geopolitical zones.

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“That is our way of supporting the gradual reopening of schools, especially public schools where students have no access to running water and you know hand washing is very important.

“We are putting the boreholes in schools that have high density population and so that IDPs are able to access the water.

“In each of all those 54 schools that we are making the solar powered boreholes facilities, each school would also get four automated foot pedal washing stations along with dispenser with 2,000 face masks for each of the schools,” she said.

Reacting to the gesture, Basheer Mohammed, federal commissioner (NCFR) who was represented by Fatima Daura, deputy director in charge of IDPs, thanked the group and asked for more collaboration to assist the IDPs.

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“First of all we would like to express our profound appreciation to the VSF for the gigantic contribution”, she said.

“It is part of our mandate to support the international action for the protection and assistance of persons of concerns which include IDPs, refugees, migrants, stateless persons and returnees. Provision of food and none food items is an integral part of this mandate. It goes down in no small measure in reducing the burden of these group of people face.

“I want to assure you that we would ensure that every single items goes to the vulnerable person that requires it, that is the person of concern, the majority of which are IDPs and I would also wish to seek for other support. As you all know we have a very lean budget, we have a big mandate with almost three million persons of concern. We seek your support for further collaboration in the coming days to provide relief to persons of concern.

“As a commission, we want to shift our focus from giving handout to providing sustainable solutions, supporting and providing empowerment. But we do have to provide food in the short term. We would like to collaborate with you for support. The more we collaborate, the better the outcome.”

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