COVID-19 NG-CARES programme commences in Delta
The Delta State Government has commenced its Federal Government and World Bank version of the economic interventionist programme tagged the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) programme.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who unveiled the state’s NG-CARES Steering Committee in Asaba, the state capital, tasked the nine-member committee to provide oversight and policy guidance for effective implementation of the programme.
Headed by the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Barry Gbe, he explained that the programme, besides providing guidance and oversight during the NG-CARES programme, the committee would meet frequently to consider issues affecting the programme and take appropriate action, as well as consider and approve annual work plans.
“The Steering Committee will also provide periodic updates to the governor every six months or as may be required,” he said.
Director, Overseas Development Assistance, Lady Patience Ogbewe, disclosed that the NG-CARES programme was a short-term response to the economic crisis occasioned by the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic in Nigeria.
Ogbewe said the CARES programme was designed to support budgeted government interventions at the state level, which focus on targeting existing and emerging vulnerable and poor households, farmers, as well as Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) affected by the coronavirus-induced economic crisis.
She explained that the Programme Development Objective (PDO) was to expand access to livelihood support and food security services and give grants to poor and vulnerable households and firms, stressing that it outlined a two-year financial support to states to achieve results in some major areas.
She disclosed that it would focus on increasing cash transfers and livelihood support to poor and vulnerable households by supporting the scaling up of existing safety net interventions at the state level.
It would revive safety net interventions to expand coverage of social transfers, labour intensive public work opportunities, livelihood grants and social service infrastructure micro projects.
It would also focus on increasing food security and safe functioning of food supply chain for poor households, provision of seeds, fertilizers and agricultural extension services to farmers, opportunities to improve agricultural infrastructure, provision of agricultural inputs for mitigating food losses and upgrading wet markets to allow safe buying and selling of food produce.
She added that the programme would facilitate recovery, enhance the capacity of Medium and Small Scale Enterprises (MSEs), support improved interventions that help MSEs through grants to support post COVID-19 loans, grants to support operational costs and enhance ICT capabilities.
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