By Patrick Sam
The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with United Nations Women (UNW) has begun the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable women and girls in 16 states across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The programme was launched at Ushafa, a community in Bwari Area Council of the FCT, for the commencement of the distribution of palliatives from a $100,000 donation by UN Women to the Ministry of Women Affairs in April.
A statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by UN Women said the palliative was targeted at only vulnerable women and girls in the beneficiary states. It quoted UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Comfort Lamptey, as saying 3,060 households will benefit from the exercise.
She listed states to benefit from the first phase of the distribution to include Kwara, Niger, Plateau, Kebbi, Sokoto, Borno, Taraba, Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Lagos States and the FCT.
“Through the palliative distribution spearheaded by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and state Ministries of Women’s Affairs, we aim to provide at least 3,060 households across 16 states and the FCT with relief assistance. The relief assistance includes food and hygienic materials to mitigate the immediate effects of COVID-19 and increase the dignity and well-being of women and girls.
We are confident that this model for affirmative procurement and women-led coordination will be a model for best practice to ensure women and girls are not left behind during crisis situations. Women’s leadership is key to helping us get through this pandemic and key to helping us recover economically,” Lamptey said.
In her remarks, Women Affairs Minister, Dame Pauline Tallen, expressed gratitude to the Minister of FCT for the proactive measures taken to respond to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The difference between what we hope to achieve is to specifically address the plight of widows, women living with HIV/AIDS, women with disabilities, elderly women and female-headed households during this pandemic,” she said.
Drawing attention to the state of emergency declared against rape by state governors recently, the minister called on traditional and community leaders, men and boys to join the crusade by declaring zero tolerance toward rape and other forms of gender-based violence.
The exercise will be coordinated by the Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with UN Women, state Ministries of Women Affairs and selected women-related civil society organisations in each beneficiary state, and is aimed at providing relief assistance, contributing to strengthening resilience and the coping capacity of some of the most affected households, including vulnerable female-headed households, poor women with disabilities, and those affected by conflict situations in parts of the country