By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with UN Women has begun the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable women and girls in 16 states across the six geo-political zones and FCT.
The launch which held in Ushafa Village, Bwari Area Council of the FCT, marked the beginning of the distribution of palliatives from a 100,000 dollars donation by UN Women to the Women Affairs Ministry in April.
A statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by the UN Women said that the palliative targeted only vulnerable women and girls in the beneficial states.
The statement quoted Ms Comfort Lamptey, UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, as saying that 3,060 households will benefit from the distribution.
Lamptey 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 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.
On her part, the Women Affairs Minister, Dame Pauline Tallen, expressed gratitude to the two ministers of FCT for the proactive measures taken to respond to the economic implications of the COVID-19 crisis.
“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.
She also underscored the importance of refraining from victim blaming and shaming when addressing the issue of sexual and gender-based violence.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the distribution would be implemented by the ministry of women affairs in collaboration with UN Women, state Ministries of Women Affairs and selected women civil society organisations in each selected state.
The intervention 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.