Monday, May 11,
2020 / 9:23 PM / WIMBIZ
The current economic situation triggered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains and business activities across countries, including Nigeria. To combat this pandemic, general lockdown strategies have been implemented. This has resulted in a decline in economic activity, a dip in oil prices and a reduction in disposable income. The impact on the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population has been magnified with people who depend on daily wages to fend for their families, feeling the brunt of these restrictions.
It quickly became apparent to the WIMBIZ team, that Nigerian women within the low-income bracket would be hit by the impact of the lockdown and they would need support to comply with the government's lockdown restrictions designed to flatten the curve as well as stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The WIMBIZ COVID-19 Relief Project, is an initiative borne out of the challenges associated with the pandemic and the need for a collective action to combat the spread of the virus. Initially, we considered three communities to distribute the relief packs to â€“ Ijeh in Obalende, Idiaraba in Surulere and Mushin. However, due to the scale of the adverse economic impact of the ongoing pandemic and in response to the overwhelming support and feedback from our donors, we increased our relief package distribution target to 10,000 relief packs.
In addition, we diversified our geographic focus and extended our donation window to enable us expand our reach. Our relief packages have so far been distributed in these communities across the country: Ijeh, Shomolu, Orile, Aguda, Mushin, Ikorodu, Seriki Ado, Ikeja, LAWMA, Makoko, OkeIranla Ojo, Yaba, Onikan , Addo, Langbasa, Garki, Gwarimpa, Tungan, Maje, Jikwoyi, Durumi, Bundu, Okrika, Diobu Waterside, Bonny, Akinyele, Iddo, Lagelu/Egbeda and Ona-Ara.
We leveraged our diverse network of associates and received immense support from members of our Board of Trustees and Executive Council. There was also representation of our secretariat staff led by the Executive Director of WIMBIZ for this well-needed outreach initiative. The collective effort from those within the WIMBIZ organisation resulted in effective execution of this outreach and strengthened our desire to continuously remain the catalyst that elevates the status of women as well as promote nation building.
The WIMBIZ COVID-19 Project Relief Program distributed 11,919 relief packs, directly impacting over 71,514 Nigerians across 28 communities in 4 states within Nigeria, with donations from 503 cash donors and 18 in-kind donors. Sector demographics covered include healthcare workers, waste management staff, widows, law enforcement households, internally displaced individuals and an old people's home.
With Nigeria's population estimated to be close to 200m and a large proportion of our citizens living below the poverty line, the pandemic has been catastrophic. The restriction of movement as part of Government's efforts to stop the spread of the virus, has significantly impacted livelihoods, particularly those that depend on daily cash incomes. More focus is required to identify the vulnerable members of society across the nation and create safety nets to provide respite. The WIMBIZ COVID-19 Relief Package has assisted (and continues to assist) with supporting some of these households but there is still a lot more to be done to reduce inequality and achieve gender equality.
We continue to focus on growing our network of professional women, delivering value-added programs, creating differentiated benefits for our Associates, advocating for increased female participation at all levels & supporting our communities.