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COVID-19

Why we didn’t distribute looted COVID-19 palliatives- Osun

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The Osun Food and Relief Committee on COVID-19 on Friday said the looted items at a warehouse in Ede town were not hoarded, but rather kept for flag-off of official distribution.

Alhaji Bayo Jimoh, Secretary to the committee, in a statement in Osogbo, said that the looted items were donated to the committee as palliatives to the people by Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some angry youths in the early hours of Friday broke into a warehouse in Ede town and carted away COVID-19 palliatives meant for distribution.

Items such as beans, noodles, sugar, salt, garri, rice, pastas, vegetable oil, among others, were looted from the warehouse located within the moribund Cocoa Industry, Ede.

The incident, however, happened barely 24-hours after the state government announced the suspension of dusk-till-dawn curfew imposed following the #EndSARS protest.

NAN reports that Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola had in April inaugurated a 21-member Food and Relief Committee to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the people of the state.

Jimoh, however, said that the looted food items had no direct bearing with the state government, adding that the items were within the purview of the Food and Relief Committee.

He said as such, the items could only be distributed after a formal flag-off by the CACOVID Office, Abuja.

The statement read partly, ” We do not have the authority to distribute the food items without approval from Abuja.

” Besides, the Committee is still expecting the rice component of the donated items, which is 40, 230 bags of 5kg.

“All these are part of the reasons the items were still in the warehouse up till the time of the invasion.

“The following items were donated; Pasta FMN – 29, 992; Pasta OLAM -10, 282; Noodles- 80, 644; Garri -40, 322; Salt- 40, 320; and Sugar – 40, 227.

“However, the rice components of the donated items are yet to be delivered until now.

The Committee wrote to CACOVID as recently as Sept. 28, 2020, reminding it of the rice component, which is yet to be delivered.

“However, until this moment, we are yet to receive response from CACOVID.

“This is the truth about the status of the donated relief items until the unfortunate looting,” Jimoh said.

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COVID-19

ECOWAS donates food items worth $4million to Nigeria, 3 others

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has donated food items worth $4 million to four member states, including Nigeria, to mitigate impacts of their humanitarian needs.

Ms Fatima Jagne, ECOWAS Commissioner for Gender and Social Affairs, made this known during the commemoration of the 2020 World Humanitarian Day on Wednesday in Abuja,

Jagne, who was represented by Mr Alozie Godfrey from the directorate, said the intervention was aimed at reducing the pains and sufferings of those in humanitarian needs.

She said the need for humanitarian services were on the increase worldwide but the challenges of delivering them were also increasing in a world that is conflict and disaster saturated.

Jagne said this, however, called for support of efforts by states and other actors to prevent crisis and build resilience of the population against natural disasters.

“The ECOWAS commission will continue its collaboration with member states and partners to promote the protection of humanitarian workers through policy implementation, sensitisation and advocacy.

“The commission will also continue to respond to the plights of the affected population through the donation of food and non-food items to reduce the sufferings of the vulnerable population.

“In this regard, the commission is handing over food worth over four million US Dollars to four member countries including Nigeria to assuage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jange said.

Jagne said that this year, COVID-19 had been the biggest challenge to humanitarian operations around the world.

She added that the lack of access and restrictions placed by governments around the world had resulted in communities, civil society and local NGOs being the frontline of the response.

This situation, she said, emphasised the reason for localisation of resources to enhance the first responder initiative.

She said that unfortunately, the ECOWAS region was seriously impacted by both crises and the COVID – 19 pandemic.

Jagne said the theme for this year’s celebration, #RealLifeHeroes, focused on what motivated humanitarians to continue to save and protect lives regardless of conflict, insecurity, lack of access, and risks linked to COVID-19.

“This year’s campaign affords us the opportunity to appreciate the inspiring and selfless assistance carried out by humanitarians who risk and dedicate their lives in crisis and peace times treating and preventing COVID-19.

“Administering vaccines, providing food, setting up safe spaces for women and girls, and containing locust invasions despite the pandemic.

“We all must join hands in supporting our #RealLifeHeroes this World Humanitarian Day and going forward.

“As humanitarian workers deliver aid, and medical workers help the injured and sick, often times, they are directly targeted and prevented from bringing relief and care to those in distress,” Jagne said.

Jagne said that given the recklessness exhibited in modern warfare, civilians more often than not, became targets of most conflicts.

She, however, called for the moral and legal obligation of all parties to a conflict to abide by the rules of International Humanitarian Law as provided by Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols.

“Preventive and proactive peacetime measures aimed at ensuring better respect for International Humanitarian Law must be encouraged.

“These actions will help create the enabling environment for aid workers to work,” she said.

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COVID-19

UPDATE: Lagos to reopen worship centres, restaurants on August 7, 14

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Lagos state government has announced that all religious centres and restaurants are to resume operations from August 7th and 14th, 2020 respectively.

While religious centres are expected to operate at 50% capacity, the restaurant are expected to operate eat-in services.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said “While we try to ensure that life gradually returns to normal, we implore residents to continue to use face masks in public spaces and adhere strictly to all the public health safety measures and guidelines.

“At this point, I have to emphasize how important and necessary it is for us to self-regulate. Everyone of us must take up the mantle of responsibility and ensure that we are self-regulating ourselves in our interest and in the interest of our loved ones.”

 

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COVID-19

India donates medicine worth $50 million to Nigeria, others

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As part of her plans to combat COVID-19 pandemic, India has donated essential medicines worth $50 million to Nigeria and other African countries.

This was disclosed by the High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, Mr Abhay Thakur, in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja after he donated some items to the Federal Government.

According to NAN, the Government of India had on Friday donated seven tonnes of consignment of essential medicines, including hydroxycholoroquine and medicine, including antibiotics to Nigeria.

The seven tonnes of consignments (586 cartoons) were received by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on behalf of the Federal Government.

The envoy said, “It would be very difficult to put a cost on the items donated. I will say for the whole of Africa, our donation is more than $50 million.

Thakur said India would be willing to collaborate with Nigeria on production of COVID-19 vaccine, as the country had made some progress in the development of the vaccine.

He said, “There are many centres in India where serious work and research is happening; there are institutions that are working across India to produce vaccine.

“One of the most promising one is developed by one of the institutions and has already gone into first phase of testing; we hope phase two will start soon.

“We hope to hear encouraging news about COVID-19 vaccine on the forthcoming India independence day, which is on August 15.”

The envoy said India would continue to support Nigeria in building the capacity of its human resources as it continued to offer e-ITEC training ( Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation).

“We are offering short online webinars on COVID-19 management and research; there are about 10 programmes; we are working together and we will continue to do so.

“So far, 14 Nigerian medical professionals have benefited from online courses on COVID-19 management strategies in Africa.

“Our focus now is on capacity building but we can expand to research. I will take this message home and encourage some of our researchers to work with Nigeria on medical research.’’

He expressed optimism that the measures taken by the two countries had helped to manage the spread of COVID-19.

“In fact, I will like to mention here what President Muhammadu Buhari said in his speech in early May that India had taken strong measures and very strong lockdown measure to curb the virus.

“The exchange of experience is very important and we look to each other in combating this pandemic,” he added.

India had been enjoying longstanding, multifaceted, friendly relations and deep-rooted bilateral relations with Nigeria since it established its Diplomatic House in Lagos in November 1958, two years before Nigeria became independent on Oct. 1, 1960.

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