By Ismaeel Uthman
A total of 21, 695 households were said to have benefitted from the Osun Palliatives Distribution Programme of the State Government to cushion the effect of the lockdown declared in April to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report on the distribution of the relief packages from the State Operation Coordinating Unit, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget of the state, the 21, 695 beneficiaries span across all the local government areas of the state.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Osun, Professor Olalekan Yinusa, who wrote the preface to the report, stated that data of poor and vulnerable households was used in targeting the beneficiaries.
Titled ‘Targeting For Food Relief During Covid-19 In Osun Using The Social Register’, the report explained that a Social Register was established as a standardized procedure for targeting poor and vulnerable households in the state.
Vulnerable people in the social register as stated in the report are people in dire need of special care, protection and support due to severely limited access to resource and sustainable livelihood, social exclusion, poverty and inequality.
Examples of vulnerable people in the Social Register are: Physically disabled, deaf and dumb, blind, elderly, poor widows and orphans.
Describing the Social Register as comprehensive, verifiable and auditable, the report disclosed that the beneficiary households were those with people with disabilities, members that are chronically ill, aged heads, widows as heads and those that had not benefitted from any relief.
According to the report, 22,946 households were targeted but the state government could only reach out to 21,695 at the end of the exercise.
The report reads in part: “In response to this disturbing reality, Governor of the State of Osun, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola constituted a 21-man Food and Relief Committee to support vulnerable citizens of the State at the critical time.
“In addition to mobilising requisite resources both from within and outside the State, the Committee, using the World Bank-Approved Osun Social Register, undertook an aggressive state-wide food and relief distribution programme, with the goal of reaching the identified target population in an open, transparent and scientific manner.
“The Osun Palliatives Distribution Programme was implemented through a broadly inclusive and carefully coordinated process, with strategic representation from the State Executive Council, religious communities, Civil Society Organisations, community leaders and traditional institutions in the State.
“The Social Register, a comprehensive, verifiable and auditable data of poor and vulnerable households was used in targeting 21, 695 households across 30 Local Government Areas of the State for the food relief.
“The Social Register comes in handy for determining eligibility of any social program, choosing a method of reaching beneficiaries and developing a monitoring system.”