The United Nations Population Funds, UNFPA on Thursday handed over 500 dignity kits for the use of persons in the flood affected parts of Anambra State.
The kits contain a bucket, Vaseline, toothbrush, tooth paste, 3 pants, soaps, solar torchlight, whistle for emergency reports, shaving stick, mats, hair comb, wrapper, washing powder, liquid soap, menstrual pad and bar soap.
The items were handed over to the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs Ify Obinabo at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka.
Presenting the items, Mr Christian Macauley Sabum, the Humanitarian Coordinator/ Head of Office, Maiduguri Decentralized Office of the UNFPA, said the gesture is part of the agency’s support to Anambra State for flood affected victims.
He explained that the kits were chosen in consideration of the vulnerability of women during such emergencies and the need to provide them succour.
“As we know, when such flooding and other emergency situations occur, women and girls are usually the worst affected. They are already vulnerable, because three out of every 10 women are victims of gender-based violence and emergencies like this makes it even worse.
“So, the UNFPA has the mandate to support the government in every emergency to put in place protection and response systems to address issues of gender-based violence in emergency situations.
“So, with the call of the government for assistance in addressing the needs of the flood victims, the UNFPA cannot afford to be indifferent and we are supporting the government efforts.
“Here, we have brought in for the first consignment, 500 dignity kits, to address the immediate hygiene needs and other aspects of non-food item needs of the women and especially the most vulnerable who are under displacement,” he said.
Sabum also revealed that they have also mapped out other capacity building initiatives for partners to provide services like the clinical management of rape, case management for rape survivors and skill acquisition.
He also announced the donation of 56,000 male condoms and 3000 female condoms to Anambra State.
According to him, “this is to help in managing reproductive health needs even in emergencies, as we also need to make sure the population is controlled even in such situations.”
The Agency promised to help Anambra establish a preparedness system where each time they get early warning, they trigger their response system.
He said; “You have your case workers, psychosocial support workers, those who will be providing clinical management of rape and other protection services for women and girls.
“UNFPA is committed to supporting Anambra State to establish crises response system for the protection of women and girls in the event of crises and emergencies.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Royal Heritage Health Foundation, RHHF, Sogunro Elijah Olusoji said the foundation is partnering the UNFPA on the initiative because of how crucial it is to guarantee the safety and hygiene of women and girls during such emergencies.
Responding, the Anambra Women Affairs Commissioner, Mrs Obinabo commended the UNFPA and the partner for donation.
She said the donations will go a long way in ensuring that the flood-affected victims who are already returning to their homes as the flood is receding, gets some form of respite to start life afresh.
“As a government, we want to appreciate you for a wonderful job. This is a great support to Anambra State.
“In as much as the flood victims have started returning to their homes, we know that they did not come out with anything when this challenge happened.
“So, it is going to be of great use to them.
“On behalf of Anambra women and the government, we are grateful,” she said.
Obinabo pleaded for more support from the agency, especially to enable the state prepare ahead of future occurrence of such magnitude, by ensuring that their support comes early enough.
While advocating for the sustenance of the relationship with Anambra State, the Commissioner called on the UN group to ensure continuous support to the state in addressing issues of rape and gender-based violence in the state.
She noted that the condoms donated will help the state in family planning and protection from infections and other sexually transmitted diseases.