By Seriki Adinoyi
A T. Y. Danjuma group, Victims Support Fund (VSF) taskforce on COVID-19, has donated food items and personal protective equipment (PPE’s) worth N120 million to the vulnerable in Plateau State.
The Chairperson of the taskforce, Mrs. Toyosi Akere-Ogunsiji, while handing the items to the Plateau State Government in Jos, said that the gesture is the third phase of the interventions by VSF taskforce on COVID-19.
She explained that the taskforce on COVID-19 is an emergency response team inaugurated by the Chairman of the Victims Support Fund, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd).
She said that it was meant to provide palliative measures to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the vulnerable as well as institutional support to government agencies in their efforts at fighting pandemic.
Akere-Ogunsiji said: “The taskforce had successfully carried out the first and second phases of the COVID-19 intervention in April and June 2020 in North-east, South-south, South-east and South-west.
“On 19th November, 2020, we commenced the third phase of distribution of food and the PPEs in seven other states in the North-west, North-central and the FCT at the cost of N1 billion.”
The items donated included bags of rice, beans, maize, vegetable oil, salt, and PPEs meant for 40,886 households and approximately 204,330 direct beneficiaries across seven states.
She said the benefitting states are Kano, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, Plateau, and Benue; and agencies in the FCT.
According to her, the state governments will receive 50 per cent of the food items, while local civil society organizations (CSOs) will distribute 50 per cent of the items directly to IDPs and vulnerable people.
She added that the taskforce is also working closely with federal and state government agencies involved in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said: “We are doing that through collaboration with the National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) to target IDPs and refugees with hygiene kits, children’s blankets and food items.
“We are working with the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) to target vulnerable women.”
Governor Simon Lalong in company with the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen, commended Gen. Danjuma for the gesture.
He said that the intervention came at the right time after what was donated by the federal government was looted by hoodlums during the EndSARS protest in the state.
He promised that the distribution would be transparent to ensure that items get to the people that actually need them.
Tallen also lauded Danjuma for coming to the aid of the vulnerable and the needy at the appropriate time.