ILO and UNAIDS provide PPE and welfare items to PLW HIVAIDS to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19

In response to the call by the UNAIDS Executive Director, to reprogramme up to fifty percent (50%) of the 2020 UNAIDS country envelope funds for COVID-19 related activities, the ILO along with it partners donated assorted COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment and Rice to Four Networks of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Monrovia, on July 15, 2020.

News | 21 July 2020
Monrovia (ILO News) – The Director of ILO Country Office, Abuja, Mr Dennis Zulu, has stated that the extension of social protection coverage to all, was one of the core mandates of the ILO. He made the remarks in Monrovia during the donation of some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and welfare items to People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHIV/AIDs). Speaking through the ILO Focal Point for Liberia, Mr. Salif A. Massalay, Mr Zulu stated that the ILO was making the donation based on the identified needs of the recipients and in agreement with the UNAIDS.

The items donated include 288 pieces of Hand Sanitizers, 150 bags of 25kg rice, 200 gallons of Chloride, and 100 pieces of hand washing Buckets with faucets. Mr. Massalay added that from the ILO point of view, they have decided not only to buy PPEs, but to also include rice which is the country’s staple.” He said that the funding for this intervention was originally intended for the decentralization of HIV testing using family models with highly differentiated approach through community structures, at various community forums”. Nevertheless, cognizant of the harsh socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the lives of this category of people, they have decided to do so, he added.

He named the four beneficiaries: Light Association, Eye Association, Serene Health for All Mobile Clinics and Save Vulnerable-Liberia Incorporated. Normally, ILO procedure was to ensure that beneficiaries themselves directly receive and sign for whatever was for them. But due to the Covid-19 measures as well as to protect the identity and dignity of these people, we have decided not to invite them, but rather the heads of their respective networks who would ensure that they receive whatever was for them.”

Speaking on behalf of the Government of Liberia, Deputy Labour Minister for Planning and Manpower Development, Hon. Atty. Phil T. Dixon called on Liberians to realize that HIV and AIDS should not take away the dignity and rights that were granted every individual. He admonished Liberians to see each other as brothers and humans irrespective of their health conditions.
“In addition, we want to appreciate the efforts of the United Nations for identifying with Liberians through these Networks of People Living with HIV and AIDS. In a country like Liberia with a budget that is very tight, with so many things that we know we need to do, but we are unable to do them. Therefore, whenever an entity comes and decide to reach out to our people is a massive plus. Fortunately, for us, this is July, this donation is going to be very meaningful, for people to get some rice considering the fact that our Independence is in July. We also look forward to continuing our regular programming even during this COVID-19 period”. Once more on behalf of the Government of Liberia, we want to appreciate the United Nations Family through the ILO for this donation and we want to ask the benefiting Networks to ensure that it goes to the most vulnerable members of their Networks. We must work together and love each other”.

Speaking on behalf of the four networks, Mr. Joe Joe Baysa of the Light Association thanked the ILO for identifying with them in this critical time in the history of the country, especially during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated that the networks were looking forward to more collaboration.

The funding for this intervention came from the 2020 UNAIDS Country Envelope.
Those who took part in the donation ceremony included the Deputy Minister of Labour for Planning and Manpower Development and other officials, the ILO Focal Point, representatives from the National Aids Commission, executive members of the four networks of PLW HIV/AIDS earlier named, and members of the fourth estate.