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Umezulike Foundation expands COVID-19 response, reaches out to vulnerable families

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High unemployment rates, school closures, and income reduction due to strict COVID-19 lockdown rules and social distancing have led to severe hunger issues in remote communities in West Africa. In a bid to support the most vulnerable families and persons living in impoverished communities, Hon. Justice Innocent Umezulike Foundation has established a COVID-19 Response Fund. 

Through the Response Fund, the foundation provided small and medium scale financial grants, which enabled the delivery of crucial humanitarian support to disadvantaged individuals in remote communities in Nigeria.

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In collaboration with Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF), the Foundation recently supported the Warrior Funds Initiative, which enabled sickle cell warriors in Enugu State Nigeria to have access to essential, medication and raw food items at the peak of the pandemic. It also distributed raw food parcels, beverages, and other essential wellbeing supplies to the most vulnerable households in Uhukagbo, Umueneoma, Umuogbu, Umumbe, Umuenechi, Umuowo, Ogwugwu Ulom, and Awa communities in Enugu State. This is in addition to pop-up centres in Enugu metropolis for the distribution of hygiene kits, facemasks and handwashing soaps.

In addition to fulfilling humanitarian missions, the foundation established ad-hoc external compliance and monitoring team to assess the effectiveness and quality of each humanitarian programme. The outreach officers worked collaboratively with cross-functional specialists to achieve the implementation of human standards produced during field presence.

“The COVID-19 Response Fund is facilitated by our solicitous private donors who are committed to ensuring that the foundation reacts timeously and actively in epochs of humanitarian crisis,” said Umezulike Foundation’s co-chair, Dr Cynthia Chisom Umezulike, PhD. “The foundation must now progress from the response stage to the recovery phase by fulfilling coherent human rights objectives and creating alternative sustainable approaches to help rebuild the mammoth economic damage inflicted by the pandemic.” 

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The new result-based priority for action includes providing funding for small-scale business start-ups for rural women living in extreme poverty.

“The recovery phase would enable cross-collaboration and partnership with local charities and voluntary sectors in diminishing the economic impact of Covid-19,” said the foundation’s co-chair, Victor Azubike Umezulike. “We anticipate that the result based approach implemented by the foundation would catalyse philanthropic mobilisation to defeat the global crisis.” 

The Hon. Justice Innocent Umezulike Foundation was established to advance the legacy of Hon. Justice Innocent Umezulike, OFR, FCIRB, FIIAN – one of Nigeria’s astute Chief Judges and Professor emeritus.

Umezulike was the best mastery in his knowledge of the law, distinguished for his expertise in Land and Property Law, had to his credit over 23 law books before his eternal bow in 2018. His Lordship bowed out the longest-serving Chief Judge in South Eastern Nigeria and notable for receiving over 100 distinguished legal honours and awards for excellence in service.

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