A total of 300 caregivers made up of pregnant and lactating women were, on Wednesday, presented with relief materials to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 in women of such categories.
The distribution of the items comprising rice, palm oil, groundnuts oil, beans and other proteinous food for children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) was done at the PHC Miri an outskirt of Bauchi metropolis by UNICEF Bauchi Staff Association, COVID-19 Charity Outreach.
Speaking during the distribution exercise, Chairperson of the Association, Margaret Gituwa said that the exercise was as a result of the socio-economic hardship imposed on families by the COVID-19 pandemic with the poor most affected thereby increasing the number of people who live in abject poverty.
Margaret Gituwa added that mothers, especially pregnant and lactating women, are now faced with a myriad of challenges as the cost of living has gone high with increasing prices of food commodities including staple foods like rice and maize.
She added that some households have recorded a reduction in income, loss of income and restrictions on income sources as the case may be which has resulted in households experiencing human rights abuses, violence and exploitation.
The Staff Association Chairperson then said that “alleviating the impact of the COVID-19 crisis is therefore vital for preventing poverty from deepening and increasing in Nigeria.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, approximately 4 in 10 Nigerians were living just above the poverty line, making them vulnerable to falling back into poverty when chocks occur”.
She added that “in response to the challenges highlighted above, and to ensure action that will mitigate the risk, UNICEF Bauchi Staff Association decided to assist mothers and caregivers who patronise Miri PHC with relief materials comprising rice, vegetable oil, salt, food seasoning and detergent. This is our modest way of contributing to addressing the challenges thrown up by the pandemic”.
She then called on more Nigerians who have the capacity to continue to extend similar palliative, especially to women and children who are always at the receiving end of crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to news men expressed their gratitude to the gesture saying that it will go a long way to mitigate the hardship they are facing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the inability of their husbands to provide for the families.