The Federal Government has reiterated its determination to prioritise the welfare and wellbeing of 3.1million households of People Living With Disability (PLWD) across the country to ameliorate the debilitating effect of Coronavirus.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadia Umar Forouq who made the disclosure yesterday at the flag-off of the distribution of palliatives to the Karomajiji PLWD community said they would carry out the same exercise in other colonies.
Speaking further, she said, “In this very community we are attending to 460 households numbering over 1000 individuals.
Next week we will start with other communities in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States after which we would move to Kano.”
She said the ministry has done all the processes adding that by early next week they will commence, the model via food ration to the households.
“As a follow up we shall also be visiting other communities and clusters of the persons with special needs and to provide them with the same relief materials.”
At the State level, she indicated that they will ensure their portion in the palliatives for the States, is adequately set aside for distribution to such communities in the States.
Farouq indicated that the ministry had earlier visited the community in April to distribute Hygiene materials.
“We are very aware of the issues concerning people with special needs and we have made their issue a priority of the ministry.
“This special group constitute 15% of the Nigerian population and they represent one of the most vulnerable groups in the country. “During a pandemic such as the COVID-19, we always emphasize that palliative measures and social safety net intervention be activated to reach out to this very special group.”
She said her ministry is set to do exactly that by prioritizing their wellbeing and their welfare.
She recalled that persons with special needs stakeholders met last month at the Army resource centre where she chaired the meeting.
“The meeting provided the framework to mitigate the challenges of the persons with disability to implement the Federal Government’s plan as well as the ministry’s roadmap for sustainable mitigation on all matters relating to PLWDs.
“The purpose is how the PWDs can benefit from the Federal Government’s interventions aimed at cushioning the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to her, her ministry came up with a technical working group that will come up with an action plan and strategy.
She promised to take appropriate action as soon as the technical working group submitted its report.
“We have chosen to commence this flag off here because Karamajiji represents one of the most organised and recognized communities of persons with special needs.”
She lauded President Muhammadu For his love in attending to persons with special needs “It is a demonstration of our care and love to our brothers and sisters with special needs taking into cognisance the debilitating effect of the pandemic.
“Be assured that we are focused on planning and committed to bringing relief and assistance to this very important group.”
She admonished the leadership of the PLWDs to use what they have been given judiciously, as she promised to provide more support so that they can have a means of livelihood.
“That is the most important thing so they can fend for themselves and members of their families.”
The PLWDs was elated to receive the palliatives as they came in, household by household in an orderly manner to receive their rations.