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“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 Federal Capital Territory with relief assistance including food and hygienic materials to mitigate the immediate effects of COVID-19….. Ms. Comfort Lamptey, UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS.

The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA) in collaboration with UN Women, today flagged off the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable women and girls in 16 states across the six geo-political zones, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The launch took place in Ushafa Village, Bwari Area Council of the FCT. The flag off of the joint activity follows the donation of $100,000 by UN Women to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs last month towards the procurement and distribution of palliative items to vulnerable Nigerian women and girls.

“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 Federal Capital Territory with relief assistance including food and hygienic materials to mitigate the immediate effects of COVID-19 and increase the dignity and wellbeing of women and girls,” said Ms. Comfort Lamptey, UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS.

In attendance at the flag off ceremony were the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline K. Tallen; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) represented by the Secretary of Social Development, Chief of Ushafa, Alhaji Mohammed Baba; Chairperson of the Bwari Area Council, Ushafa Traditional Council, Hon. Maryamu Barnabas Isa; UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Comfort Lamptey; amongst other stakeholders.

The Honourable Minister noted that the Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs has identified successful women-led businesses to support the supply of palliatives that will be distributed across communities in the identified states. 

Ms. Lamptey further added: “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.”

The coordination of the distribution will 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. The states which have been earmarked to benefit from the initial phase of the palliative distribution include the FCT, Kwara, Niger, Plateau, Kebbi, Sokoto, Borno, Taraba, Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra, Bayelsa and Edo, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti and Lagos states. 

Dame Tallen expressed her thanks to the Honourable Minister of the FCT, Mallam Mohammed Bello and the Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani 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.”

Drawing attention to the State of Emergency declared against rape by state governors recently, the Minister of Women Affairs utilized the opportunity to call on traditional and community leaders, men and boys to join the crusade by declaring zero tolerance towards 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.

By Dotun Roy

DotunRoy.com is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

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