A Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), Victims Support Fund (VSF), is disbursing food and medical supplies to vulnerable groups across Nigeria.
The organisation has as its chairman Theophilus Danjuma, a businessman and former chief of staff of the Nigerian Army.
The Chairperson of its COVID-19 Taskforce, Toyosi Ogunsiji, handed over some of the items to the National Council for Women Society (NCWS) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ms Ogunsiji said the intervention cost the VSF about N1 billion.
She also noted that this is the third phase of such intervention.
Ms Ogunsiji said the items will be distributed in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and seven other states in the North West and North Central regions.
The states are Kano, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, Plateau and Benue.
The Chairman of VSF, Mr Danjuma, a retired army general, had in April inaugurated the COVID-19 task force as an emergency response team to provide palliative measures to internally displaced persons and the vulnerable.
“The team will as well provide institutional support to Government Agencies supporting the national effort to fight COVID 19,” he had said on that occasion.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, Ms Ogunsiji said VSF distributed COVID-19 palliatives worth two billion naira to 12 states in April and June in the first and second phases of the COVID-19 intervention.
The National Council for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) also received some of the COVID-19 palliatives from VSF on Wednesday.
Giving a breakdown of the distribution, the spokesperson of the Task Force, Alkassim Abdukadir, said the team will distribute rice, beans, maize, vegetable oil, salt, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to 40,886 households and approximately 204,330 direct beneficiaries across the states listed.
According to him, state governments will receive 50 per cent of the food items while local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) will distribute 50 per cent directly to IDPs and vulnerable people.
“The VSF continues to work to provide relief to victims of insurgency and armed conflict in Nigeria especially in the core areas of livelihood and recovery, education and protection, infrastructural development, research and peacebuilding,” he said.
In her remarks, the Deputy Director of IDP department, NCFRMI said all food items and PPE will be distributed as appropriate.
“I will like to assure VSF team that every single item will go to vulnerable persons,” she said.
She also appealed to the VSF to provide more support to the agency to be able to cover their large mandate.