First Lady Esther Lungu has appealed to stakeholders in the country to supplement government efforts of curbing hardships of the vulnerable in society.
Speaking when she handed over K1.3 million worth of food hampers donated by AFCONS Construction Company at Saint Kizito Parish, the First lady reminded that most vulnerable groups in society are finding it difficult to meet their daily requirements especially under the COVID-19 pandemic.
The First Lady commended the gesture by AFCONS saying that it is a sign of the company’s care for the community in which they operate.
She added that the donation will go a long way to assist the needy and also give them a chance to instill a sense of belonging in society.
“Today’s event is a reminder to those who can manage to supplement government’s efforts in social sectors to regularly consider alleviating the hardships of those who may be struggling and finding it difficult to meet daily requirements due to various social and health challenges such as the impact of COVID-19,” Mrs Lungu stated.
The First Lady also challenged women and youths to take advantage of government empowerment programmes to venture into entrepreneurship.
Mrs Lungu explained that government has made progress by putting in place policies aimed at cushioning the socio-economic challenges of the people.
The First Lady under the Esther Lungu Foundation also donated K200,000 cash to ST. Kizito Parish Women Organisation to support their humanitarian work.
And Ministry of Community Development and Social Security Permanent Secretary Pamela Kabamba indicated that social protection to the vulnerable plays a critical role in uplifting the welfare of poor people.
Ms. Kabamba said that government is determined to reduce poverty by 20% by the end of 2021 in line with the seventh national development plan.
She added that her Ministry has been implementing a number of social protection programmes which involve the provision of non-contributory transfers in form of cash, in-kind support, fee waiver, among other programmes.
“The onset of this national development plan in 2017 added an impetus to the prioritization of the social protection sector through the poverty and vulnerability pillar which has targets to be attained,” MS. Kabamba noted.
Meanwhile, ST. Kizito Parish Women Organisation Chairperson Mary Mukuka expressed happiness for the support.
Mrs. Mukuka assured that women will not remain idle but work hard to participate in national development.
She disclosed that her organization has since embarked on activities aimed at uplifting the standards living for the orphans, widows and the differently abled persons.
“As women organization, we are aware of the important role we play in society, that of national development and bringing food on the table to our families and community,” she stated.
Among the items donated includes food hampers and sunscreen lotion for albinos and will be distributed to selected health facilities, orphanages and foundations within Lusaka.