By Esther Nworie
Group known as Gen. T.Y Danjum Foundation, Victims Support Fund (VSF) Friday 29th May, 2020 donated about N120m worth of palliatives to the Ebonyi State Government and its residents, to help assuage the adverse effect of coronavirus pandemic.
The foundation was the first sector in public and humanitarian initiative in Nigeria which was set up on 30th of June, 2014 and has touched many lives in the country.
According to the Chairperson, Victims Support Fund (VSF) Task Force on COVID-19, Mrs. Toyosin Akerele Ogunsiji said 2,060 households are expected to benefit from the palliatives donated to Ebonyi State.
The items donated include: 2060 bags of 10kg rice, 2060 bags of 10kg beans, 2060 bags of 10kg garri, 2060 bags 2kg salt, 2060 gallons of 4litres vegetable oil, 50,000 face masks, 30,000 hand sanitizers and 2090 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including Scrubs, Goggle and rain boots for health care workers.
Mrs. Ogunsiji in her remarks explained that the foundation chose Ebonyi as one of the States to extend its intervention because Ebonyi State has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South East.
Mrs. Ogunsiji said TY Danjuma foundation has NGOs they are working with in the state which would help in distributing the palliatives to the rural dwellers who are their target.
She said modalities have been put in place to the distribution and ensure that the gesture is judiciously distributed to the targeted rural people who cannot access food.
Her words, “In the South-East, Ebonyi State has the highest number of Coronavirus cases at the moment and even though the state government has been making concerted effort to combat the scourge, we think it is important to ensure that our work on the impact of this emergency intervention of the COVID-19 global pandemic touches the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“On the 14th April, 2020, we kicked off the team’s support on COVID-19 intervention in Abuja in the IDP camp called the Malaysia Garden, where we made donations to them, from Abuja, we moved on to Borno, to Yobe, to Adamawa, from Adamawa to Taraba, to Lagos, to Ogun, and then we moved on from the North to South-West and came in to the South South. We did in Edo state last week, made donations to people in Delta state, specifically, Asaba and Warri and from Delta we came to the South-East and we were in Enugu two days ago. From Enugu, we decided to come to Ebonyi state, if not for anything, for the Abakaliki rice.”
“We think that for the fact that Ebonyi has high degree of the case, we decided to come and see the effort the state is making in supporting the citizens in the middle of this pandemic. We were made to understand that the livelihood of the citizens is tampered with in the middle of the pandemic, companies are unable to function in full capacity, even government is operating off and on, and people have lost their jobs.”
“And so, food is the major component, it’s a major necessity for human survival which is what we have for you today. Rice, Beans, Garri all in 10kg each, food, oil and salt.”
“In addition to that, we are donating 30,000 hand sanitizers, 50,000 face masks, 50,000 and 2090 Personal Protective Equipments for your healthcare workers, given that we understand that the healthcare workers are always on the frontline at this moment and we already know the challenges that Nigerians suffer in terms of healthcare infrastructural management and the shortage of Doctors. So, this is not the time to joke with the few health workers that we have at our disposal as a nation or State. And cumulative value of our donations to Ebonyi state is 120 million naira”, Ogunsiji said.
Professor Sunday Ochoche, Executive Director VSF, noted that the foundation extended the Palliatives to Ebonyi State because of the Pandemic effect on the masses.
“We have largely focused on the victims of insurgency, however, in the absence of COVID-19, our Chairman, Gen. Danjuma saw the need, given the national challenge and the dangers government and people were facing and the management on the process, saw the need to extend a sort of the intervention of this beyond the Northeast and other environs where we have worked to other states in the South and that’s why we are here today.
We thank you and we are grateful for your hospitality to us.'”
Governor Umahi represented by his deputy Kelechi Igwe assured that the food items shall be equitablely distributed to every house hold in the State.
Dr Igwe noted that the dreaded infectious disease is a challenge which has forced the society to learn not to spend extravagantly and at same time to show love to one another irrespective of tribe or religion.