The Office of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Monrovia has presented a consignment of rice and Covid-19 materials to four Networks of People Living with HIV and AIDS in Liberia.
Speaking during the presentation, ILO County’s Manager to Liberia, Mr. Salif Masalay named the items donated to four Networks as 288-pieces of Hand Sanitizers, 150-bags of 25kg rice, 200-gallons Chloride, 100-buckets, and faucets.
He said, “From the ILO point of view, we have decided to buy PPE, hand sanitizers, chloride, but I said that even though we are buying these things, we need to include rice which is the country’s staple.”
Mr. Masalay said that the donation is being carried out by other UN Agencies in the country to their respective beneficiaries.
He named the benefiting four Networks as Light Association; Eye Association; Serene Health For All Mobile Clinics and Save Vulnerable-Liberia Incorporated.
According to him, “There are a large number of Networks, but all cannot benefit at once. So for this intervention, ILO considered four Networks to benefit. Normally, ILO procedure is to ensure that beneficiaries themselves receive whatever is for them, but due to the Covid-19 situation and also to ensure that the dignity of those people is protected, they were not invited. We have invited the heads of these Networks to ensure that the items go through them to their members and we hope that they will do justice by ensuring that the beneficiaries get what belongs them.
“To ensure that the donation reaches its targeted beneficiaries, the Networks were asked to complete several forms prepared by the ILO and were also advised to ensure that recipients sign as well upon receipt of their supplies. “We are aware of ILO Convention 202, which calls to confidentiality people in this category to be respected, but for the purpose of record and accountability we must follow these steps.”
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Liberia, Deputy Labour Minister for Planning and Manpower Development, Atty. Phi T. Dixon called on Liberian to realize that HIV and AIDS should not take away the dignity and rights that are granted by any individual.
He admonished Liberians to see each other as brothers and humans irrespective of health conditions.
“In addition, we want to appreciate the effort 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 slight, there are so many things that we know we need to do, but we are unable to do them.
“So whenever an entity comes and decides 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 in July.
“We also look forward to continuing our regular programming even doing 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 please ensure that it goes to the most vulnerable members of their Network. We must work together and love each other,” he stresses.
Deputy Minister Dixon once served as Legal Counsel of the National HIV and AIDS Commission of Liberia and held the opportunity to work with those Networks of the Commission.
In remarks, Mr. Joe Baysa of Light Association, on behalf of the Networks thanked the ILO for identifying with them in this critical time in the history of Liberia, especially during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic.