From Atiku Sarki, Abuja
The Minster of Women Affairs, Mrs. Dame Pauline Tallen has flagged-off the Basket Fund on Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Project to vulnerable women and households in 15 selected high burden COVID-19 states of Lagos, FCT, Kano, Oyo, Edo, Rivers, Ogun, Kaduna, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Delta, Eboniyi, Sokoto and Akwa Ibom.
Briefing journalists during the official flag-off ceremony in Abuja recently, Mrs. Tallen said that the goal of the project was to support the National Multi-Sectoral Covid-19 Pandemic response through RCCE while the key objective was to provide relief assistance in the form of cash palliatives and hygiene products, including face masks, sanitizers and soaps to 18,000 women, girls and young people affected by the crisis.
According to the minster, the flag-off project being jointly implemented by her ministry with NACA, UN Women and UNAIDS will in these 15 states support the two worst hit local government areas by the pandemic, rape/sexual and other forms of violence, HIV/AIDS and women living with disabilities.
She explained that her ministry will work with UN Women, the state Ministries of Women Affairs and selected Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including other implementing partners to ensure the cash palliatives reach various indigent women in the targeted communities.
The cash palliative value, she said, was projected at N30, 000 per household to be disbursed in two tranches of N15, 000 each for two quarters.
The Minster, while hoping that at the end of the project implementation by April next year in 2021, said her ministry would achieve to increase women’s awareness of sexual violence and Covid-19 pandemic and their behavioral change to respond to pandemic.
In his remarks, the Director-General of the National Agency for the control of Aids (NACA), Dr. Gambo Aliyu and who is also the Co-Chair of Steering and Technical Committee on the RCCE Project, expressed his willingness and his agency’s readiness to work with the ministry, UN Women as well as other stakeholders for the successful implementation of the projects, especially people living with HIV/AIDS.