COVID-19: 300 Vulnerable Households Benefit From Actionaid Nigeria, CITAD Palliatives Worth Over N2.7 Million

Some beneficiaries of the Actionaid Nigeria and CITAD COVID-19 palliatives smiling home with their packages at Tunga-Ashere community on Friday in Abuja. Photos by Smartgist24

Actionaid Nigeria and Centre for Information Technology and Development(CITAD), have donated items worth over N2.7 million to 300 households in four excluded communities in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory( FCT), as part of efforts to cushion the effects of hunger occasioned by the compulsory lockdown in Nigeria in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Community members assisting with the palliatives at Tungan-Ashere

The gesture, according to the Progamme Advisor of Actionaid Nigeria’s Local Rights Programme, Hajara Opaluwa-Adamu is to complement the Nigerian government’s efforts to cushion the hardship, Nigerians, especially women have been subjected to in the past few weeks due to the outbreak.

The packages distributed to beneficiaries at Tunga-Ashere on Friday by Actionaid Nigeria and CITAD

The beneficiaries which cut across four hard-to-reach communities; Tunga-Ashere, Tunga-Nasara, Jiwa Tsofo and Gwalada, all in Abuja Municipal Area Councils of the FCT, each smiled home with a package containing food and non food items worth N9, 000.

The packages distributed to beneficiaries at Tunga-Nasara on Friday by Actionaid Nigeria and CITAD

The items included, 5kg of rice, 5kg of beans, 2kg of semovita, 4 packets(piece) of spaghetti, 25 piece of maggi star, 3 sachet of power oil, 5 pieces of noodles,1 roll of milk sachet,1 roll of Milo sachet,1roll of sachet tomato paste and 500g of salt.

Community members help to off load the palliatives from another Actionaid vehicle

Other contents of the package were a pack of sanitary pad, two tablets of washing soap and additional 20 packs of sanitary pads for young girls.

Actionaid Nigeria Local Rights Programme Advisor, Hajara Opaluwa-Adamu distributing sanitary to young girls at the event on Friday while CITAD Program Officer, Salma Abdulwaheed watched

Seventy five households each from the communities benefitted from the gesture which, Adamu said became necessary to augment the Federal Government’s palliatives earlier distributed to some communities.

In order to ensure that the most vulnerable in the communities were identified for the intervention with participation of the communities in line with Actionaid human rights based approach, she said that the selection of beneficiaries was collectively, carried out with stakeholders in the communities, during which tallies were given to the intending beneficiaries before the distribution dates.

One of the three women(in yellow Hijab) selected in Tunga-Ashere communities to lead the distribution of the palliatives in line with Actionaid Women led humanitarian response approach.

Some of the criteria employed to ensure that the most vulnerable in the communities benefitted, she revealed, include, households with more than eight dependents, with four being under the age of 5, women headed households and households with terminally ill relatives.

Two of the three women(in yellow Hijab) selected in Tunga-Nasara communities to lead the distribution of the palliatives in line with Actionaid Women led humanitarian response approach.

She added that households with any child under 5 years who is severely mal nourished or more than one child who is moderately mal nourished, households with pregnant and lactating mothers that includes any of the other criteria as well as child-headed households were considered.

Beneficiaries maintain two metres distance from one another while waiting to receive the palliatives at Tunga-Ashere

Meanwhile, those in the communities excluded from the distribution consisted those employed either in public or private institutions and receive monthly income, those receiving remittance from families. (Not zakat), those that have benefited from any palliative program where food assistance have been given in the last one month and those who own assets such as motor vehicles, herds of cattle, shops or private business.

Adamu said the intervention was Actionaid Nigeria’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic which has already affected over 3.8 million persons across the world with over 260,000 confirmed deaths.

CITAD Program Officer, Salma Abdulwaheed speaking to beneficiaries on how to stay safe from Coronavirus at Tunga-Ashere on Friday.

She said the gesture will be replicated in three other states in Nigeria.

“Everyone is aware of the current situation in the world, that is the Coronavirus pandemic and Actionaid is responding to that.
This is one of our communities where intervention is carried out. Currently, we are doing the food and non food distribution in about four states. FCT, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom and Lagos State.

Actionaid Nigeria Communications Consultant, Lola Ayanda presents one of the packages to a beneficiaries at Tunga-Ashere, while one of the women selected in the community(in yellow Hijab) to assist with the distribution, helps

“This is our day two of the distribution. All the communities we are doing this intervention is under AMAC, reasons being that we went round the five area councils where we work, we noticed that AMAC is very large, so most of our communities in the council did not get the Federal Government palliatives distributed and some communities where it get to, in some cases, it was only about 30 households and the 30 households was taken by men, so it means that they are leaving the women suffering, ” she said.

More women receive sanitary pad on Friday during the distribution at Tunga-Ashere

In line with Actionaid Nigeria’s policy of putting women who are vulnerable first in its interventions, the Local Rights Programme Advisor said women were prioritized in the distributions.

She explained that three women were selected from each of the communities to lead the distribution of the palliatives in line with Actionaid Women led humanitarian response approach.

The village chief of Tunga-Nasara presenting his remarks in appreciation of the kind gesture by Actionaid and CITAD

“You know when you want to talk about the poorest of the poor, women are more affected and their children, so Actionaid thought it wise that in line with putting women first in all our interventions, with a little amount we can also reach some households, so in FCT currently, we are reaching about 300 households with food and non food material,” said Adamu.

On the criteria for selection of the beneficiaries, she explained: “We looked at the most vulnerables among all the communities. Even though we work in about 19 communities in the FCT, we looked at the most vulnerable and those that got less of the Federal Government palliatives with the participation of the community.”

She said sometimes in March when the Coronavirus was first reported in Nigeria, Actionaid Nigeria rolled out its intervention with sensitization campaigns to educate the communities where the organization is presently offering interventions about the Coronavirus, what to do to avoid infection and spread of the disease.

Beneficiaries awaiting their packages at Tunga-Nasara

“Each of the 19 communities were supported with IEC materials, Microphones, sanitizers, demonstration of hand wash was done and the microphones are being switched on currently, morning and evening to play back audio recordings on the dos and donts and misconceptions of the Coronavirus around the communities in local dialect, to keep the people abreast with what they are to do and what they should not do in the face of the pandemic.”

Beneficiaries with their packages after receiving the donations at Tunga-Ashere

Addressing each communities during the exercise, CITAD Program Officer, Salma Abdulwaheed recalled the danger associated with not adhering strictly to the social distancing, hand washing and other guidelines to prevent infection and spread of the disease.

CITAD Program Officer, Salma Abdulwaheed speaking to beneficiaries on in how to stay safe from Coronavirus at Tunga-Nasara in company of Actionaid Nigeria team members on Friday.

She advised members of the communities to take responsibility for their life and well being by avoiding gatherings and practise hygiene which is even more critical at this time

While responding to the gesture, the village heads of the beneficiary communities commended the efforts of Actionaid Nigeria and CITAD towards improving the lives of hard-to-reach communities in the FCT.

The village chief of Tunga-Ashere during his appreciation remark at the distribution

The community head of Tunga-Ashere, Sani Yakubu said his community was very grateful for receiving the aid, saying, the items received will go a long way in sustaining the beneficiaries as they continue to observe the social distancing and lockdown order of the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives by Actionaid and CITAD in the FCT, which commenced on Thursday with Gwalada community,followed by Tunga-Ashere and Tunga-Nasara respectively on Friday, is expected to be concluded, tomorrow, Saturday, May 9,2020 with the distribution of the palliatives to 75 households in Jiwa Tsofo.

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