Mbabane: The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) say orphans and vulnerable children or orphanages will not be given any food parcels if they have not applied with the agency.
The food parcels are meant for the extremely vulnerable and hard-hit citizens like the elderly.
The food parcels come as government’s bid to mitigate the plague of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen the laying off workers at some places of work as well as loss of income by small business all across the country.
NDMA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Russell Dlamini mentioned that the economy has inevitably sunk due to the loss of income, and as a task team they need to give priority to the extremely vulnerable.
Government’s priority involves ensuring that children have food, which the task team distributes through the National Care Points (NCPs). They will also be working through the World Food Programme (WFP) established in targeted communities.
Worth mentioning is that the elderly are counted among those who will benefit despite that they are beneficiaries of the thrice monthly elderly grants distributed through the Deputy Prime Minister’s office.
Dlamini went on to mention that they already have in their possession a list of orphanages that have applied to get the food parcels, but could not disclose it.
A source within the task team told Independent News that not all orphans would be beneficiaries of the parcels due to support that they might already have. She said for instance a number of known orphanages have the backing of donor funds that have consistently ensured the sustenance of the vulnerable.
“Such institutions are exempt from the distributions as it would be grossly unfair to give them support while ignoring the neediest in the country in the wake of the pandemic,” said the source.
Apart from the food, the team will also be looking into the social protection aspect, which will involve the distribution of clothes and blankets, with assistance from the Resource Mobilisation Committee and the World Food Programme. World Vision Eswatini and partners have given over E15 million to the vulnerable. The organisation has also donated over E650 000 worth of PPE, information, education and communication material to the Ministry of Health, including the expending of E1 million on a joint initiative with Esicojeni Foundation, based on a 50-50 funding agreement.
World Vision said this funding was already allocated to specific places, which are targeted by its operations.