COVID-19: Persons living with disability to benefit from FG’s palliative – Minister

By Chimezie Godfrey

The Minister, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development  Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, has assured that Persons  Living with Disabilities  would not be left out in the Federal Government ‘s intervention aimed at cushioning the effect of Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement on Thursday, She said the palliative are handed over to the three states affected by the lockdown for onward distribution to the targeted beneficiaries including Persons Living with Disabilities.

The Minister gave this assurance at the stakeholders meeting between the Minister and Persons Living with Disabilities in Abuja.

“This gathering is indeed crucial as welfare and concern of PWDs in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasised. 

“The Buhari-led administration has placed priority on assisting PWDs by coming up with policies and programmes which when executed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development will ensure inclusion and improve the wellbeing of all PWDs in the country,” She said.

Farouq further said that from the creation of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on 21st August 2019, that one of the Ministry’s mandate is developing PWDs friendly policies and welfare noting that according to World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank 2011 report that Nigeria has an estimated 25 million persons living with disabilities.

She noted that PWDs in our society  today are faced with many barriers to inclusion in all aspects of societal life and do not enjoy full access to societal life on an equal basis with others, especially in the areas of transportation, healthcare, employment, education as well as social and political participation.

According to her, to address this, on my assumption of duty as the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, l immediately appointed a Special Assistant (Special Needs) to coordinate and liaise with PWDs in Nigeria to meet and brainstorm on how to carter for the welfare of PWDs in tanderm with the mandate of the Ministry on Social Affairs Intervention.

Farouq reiterated Federal Government’s is commitment towards enhancing the living conditions of all Nigerians especially the vulnerable in the society.

She also commended President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for his commitment and dedication towards the plight of PWDs and other vulnerable groups in Nigeria.

The President, Albino Foundation of Nigeria Mr. Jake Epelle, in his speech advocated for the creation of a department of Disabilities and need for comprehensive data of persons living with disabilities in the ministry. 

He also appealed for the appointment of a member   PWDs on the PTF committee,   inclusion in National Social Investment Programme and provision of palliative for PWDs among others.