EU distributes foodstuffs, others to 2,157 Nigerian households

* Items include rice, beans, detergents, noodles, sardines, vegetable oil

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
In response to further support the Nigerian Government’s efforts at tackling the telling effects of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, a European Union (EU) delegation has begun the distribution of basic food items to vulnerable households in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

It was learnt that the continental economic block, EU, is targeting 2,157 households whose livelihoods have been most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

The EU delegation disclosed that each household would receive assorted food items, such as rice, beans, detergents, noodles sardines, salt, vegetable oil, tomatoes, seasonings, beverages and condiments.

Recall that the EU had announced a N21billion contribution to Nigeria’s national response to the crisis.

Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), who led a team for the distribution of the palliative items solicited for solidarity to towards defeating the deadly COVID-19.

Karlsen stated that the gesture was aimed at mitigating the adverse economic effects of the crisis on the most vulnerable persons.

He explained that benefitting communities, beginning with Karonmajiji community in the FCT, were carefully selected after a thorough needs assessment conducted by the EU and its partners.

The ambassador as well explained that the choice of the beneficiaries and distribution of the items were being done in partnership with the local leadership of the selected communities.

According to Head of the EU Delegation, 25 percent of the items will go to People with Disabilities (PWDs), whereas the rest of the relief materials will go to female heads of households, widows, and other vulnerable households in pre-selected Abuja suburbs.

Also included in the over N40 million intervention is the installation of public sanitation facilities in the communities and provision of information booklets on COVID-19 to enhance public awareness on the virus.

Karlsen said: “We are focusing on the immediate needs of the most vulnerable because they always pay the highest price when the economies are struggling,” he said.

He added that among such individuals are people with disabilities, women and children – with intensified risks of violence – and poor people depending on the informal sector to get food on the table every day.

The EU has been working with the Nigerians authorities and other partners to provide a swift, effective and holistic response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The Ambassador said the N21 billion worth of contribution was channelled through the UN COVID-19 Basket Fund.
Besides, the EU he said has also assisted UNICEF to procure vital health supplies to provide care for infected persons while containing further spread of the virus in the country.

According to him, the Nigerian authorities have already taken delivery of the supplies, such as test kits, oxygen concentrators, personal protective equipment (PPEs), vaccines, and other vital items.

Appreciating the visiting EU delegation, Alhaji Muhammed Sulaiman Katsina, Emir of the disabled in FCT, said he was overwhelmed with emotions that the disability community was remembered in the distribution of palliatives by the EU.

Alhaji Katsina stated that they were full of gratitude for the items prayed for God to reward the EU delegation and its partners.

Pastor Jake Epelle, Founder of the Albino Foundation, said the whole idea of the distribution was to show the inclusivity principle of the EU.

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