Retired AVM Muhammadu Muhammed, the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), disclosed this during his visit to Gov. Godwin Obaseki in Benin on Friday.

Muhammed said that the food items allocated to the state consisted of 323.29 tonnes of maize, an equivalent of 11 truck loads and 156.51 tonnes of garri, totalling six truck loads respectively.

“I am directed, on behalf of the President, to present assorted grains from the national food reserve, approved as palliatives to the vulnerable persons affected by the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.

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“The outbreak of the pandemic has altered our lives and negatively impacted on the vulnerable that depend largely on others for their daily survival.

“Such persons are people with disabilities and persons of concern that deserve support, in terms of basic necessities including food.

“These are palliatives that are expected to cater for 64,613 households,” the director-general said.

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He urged Edo government to come up with proactive measures which included the state emergency management agency, frontline local government councils and other response agencies.

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Muhammed noted that such agencies must be prepared to carry out enlightenment campaign to vulnerable communities in the state.

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He said that the government should identify high ground for camp, for evacuated communities among other measures.

Obaseki commended NEMA for being responsive to Edo government’s emergency situation.

“You have responded to our request very swiftly in terms of emergency and we really appreciate the palliatives to the most vulnerable in our society, as the consequence of the COVID-19 lockdown,” the governor said.

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He said that the distribution of the palliatives would be done in collaboration with community leaders and religious bodies, who would identify those who had suffered the most, as a result of the pandemic.

The governor gave an assurance that the palliatives would get to those the items were meant for