, 12 September, 2020 / 10:11 PM
Members of over 300 households spread across Dioceses in Senegal have benefitted from COVID-19 fund, receiving cash, food and hygiene products from the development and humanitarian arm of the Catholic Bishops, Caritas Senegal.
In the September 9 report, the leadership of Caritas Senegal indicates that the charity organization has partnered with other entities to support vulnerable persons amid the pandemic.
Senegalese families have benefited from “thermometers, hygiene products, surgical masks, support for sensitization, training of health care personnel and the distribution of tons of food,” from the Senegal Emergency Fund, Caritas Secretary-General, Fr. Alphonse Seck said in the Wednesday, September 9 report.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in our country last March, Caritas Senegal, at the national and diocesan levels, has been working to find the necessary financial means to support the population in their efforts to be resilient,” Fr. Alphonse further said.
He added, “Caritas Senegal has not received any financial support from the Senegalese government as part of its commitment to the response.”
In May, the leadership of the charity arm sought permission from the Bishops to redirect funds from the Senegal Emergency Fund launched in March to alleviate effects of climate change towards the battle against COVID-19 in the West African country.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently raging in the world and which has strongly shaken all sectors of our society, unfortunately, forces us to interrupt, on Monday 04 May 2020, this fundraising campaign, which was initially intended to furnish mainly the communities and structures of the Church,” the Caritas Official said in a press statement issued May 4.
In the Wednesday, September 9 report, Fr. Alphonse divulged the amount realized from the COVID-19 solidarity fund.
“Thanks to its external partners and the contribution of Senegalese people, Caritas Senegal has mobilized a total amount of 234,723,419 FCFA(US$423,569) through the Senegal Emergency Fund,” he said.
He added, “The last collection of the Senegal Emergency Fund Senegal was entirely distributed in cash transfer to 397 households in all the Dioceses, that is to say about 3,970 people.”
The West African nation has recorded 14,150 cases of the disease including 293 deaths and 10,207 recoveries.
In the May 4 appeal to Senegalese and people of goodwill, the Secretary-General of Caritas Senegal had said that the aid received from the Fund would be distributed on the basis of needs.
“It (Caritas Senegal) is determined to assist the most fragile and thus face the emergency of those who do not have the means to meet their basic needs in this context of a health crisis whose socio-economic impacts jeopardize the situation of many individuals and entire families,” Fr. Alphonse had said.
The Senegalese Cleric also said, “When a crisis takes hold somewhere in Senegal and calls for action, the National Emergency Commission of Caritas Senegal assesses the seriousness of the situation and requests the agreement of the Archbishop of Dakar and the President Bishop of Caritas Senegal for an intervention using the resources of the emergency fund.”
He assured the people of God in the West African nation that Caritas Senegal “remains mobilized and stands by the bedside of the most destitute, people in precarious situations and the elderly who are even more exposed to this virus.”
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