From Clement Adeyi, Osogbo

Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES), a World Bank social intervention agency, has put all the necessary machinery in place to provide intervention services with a view to alleviating poverty occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The General Manager of the Osun Community and Social Development Project (Osun -CSDP), Mrs Funmi Abokede,
disclosed this in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, during a workshop for stakeholders on CSDP Closure and the Emergence of Nigeria-COVID-19 Action Response and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES).

She noted that N-CARES, the social intervention agency that replaced CSDP after its closure in September, would embark on basic social services and livelihood support to poor and vulnerable households to relief them of the poverty and hardship that the COVID-19 pandemic had fostered on them.

Abokede lamented that the economic malaise propelled by the pandemic had seriously incapacitated government, making it difficult for it to adequately guarantee improved living conditions for the masses, especially the less privileged who are the most vulnerable.

She said that it was against this background that the N-CARES was initiated by the World Bank to carry out the intervention programmes.

She disclosed that the programmes would address food production and security, employment opportunity in social services and work, thereby addressing the emergency constraints of loss of labour income among the vulnerable households.

Abokede also disclosed that other eligible participants in the social intervention programme would include unemployed and unskilled youths and women from poor and vulnerable households aged between 28-45 years and highest educational qualification of Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.

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She also disclosed that the World Bank had already released adequate funds to execute the programmes.

She called on the major stakeholders, including Ministries, Departments Agencies MDAs to key into the project in order to guarantees beneficiaries’ access to the benefits.

In her presentation titled: N-Cares (Windows of Interventions and the roles of Stakeholders), Abokede stressed that N-Cares, would also target aged people, chronically ill as well as the urban poor and widows.

Earlier, the Operations Manager, CSDP, Felix Akinwale, disclosed that 201 rural electricity and 162 gender and vulnerable projects had been concluded before the closure of the CSDP.

Also completed is 105 transport project, 98 water supply, 78 social economic, 33 education project, 27 environmental project and 18 health projects.

In his presentation titled: Status of CSDP Assisted Projects: Continuous Maintenance and Sustainability,” Akinwale encouraged various communities that have benefited from the projects to properly ensure their maintenance.