Govt begins distribution of essential goods to citizens affected by COVID-19 lockdown

The Government has on Saturday, March 28, inaugurated a support initiative to vulnerable families who have been affected by the lockdown aimed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The move is in line with what President Paul Kagame had highlighted in his address to the nation on Friday, March 27, where he noted that the Government will do everything possible to support vulnerable Rwandans during the coronavirus containment period which is characterised by social and economic challenges.

 

The hard-hit Rwandans living in urban centres without a salaried income are the most affected.

 

 

Currently, Rwanda has 54 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The initiative kicked-off in some parts of the three districts of Kigali.

However, according to the Ministry for Local Government, concerned authorities are looking at a proper way of taking the support to secondary cities as well, and it will also be announced soon.

An official from the ministry noted that “The cities were prioritized because they are the most affected by the lockdown.”

The food relief is being drawn from the country’s National Strategic Grain Reserve under the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources which is used in case of food shortage.

In addition to this, many citizens country-wide have also willingly made their contributions to help their vulnerable neighbors.

According to the local government ministry, the beneficiaries were detected with the help of local authorities because they are the ones who know the vulnerable in their specific location.

The distribution is by local officials and other volunteers who are doing it while observing COVID-19 preventive measures.

On the first day, how did it go?

Emmy Ngabonziza, Nyarugenge District Executive Administrator, told The New Times that the support almost reached all sectors of this district.

He said: “Because our district was among the worst hit, all sectors apart from Nyarugenge sector were supplied with the support by Friday evening, and what we did today was to distribute it house to house with priority to the most vulnerable families,” adding that: “We also thank citizens who have shown a kind heart and gave us their support as well.”

Pauline Umwali, Gasabo District Executive Administrator, also told The New Times that the inauguration went well.

“So far so good. We are taking the support to sectors, and we are beginning with Gisozi, Kangondo and Kimironko,” she said.

She added that: “We began with those sectors because they are the ones with the most vulnerable families like those who work in Gakiriro furniture hub which has been temporarily closed. As means become available, the support will also continue to other sectors.”

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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