GBV in focus at Solidarity Fund

Taking stock of progress since its launch six months ago, the Solidarity Fund, which has reached 33.9 million citizens, yesterday announced a second Covid-19 intervention package of R75 million. This will go towards assisting about 360 community organisations offering key services to women and children affected by gender-based violence (GBV). According to fund CEO Nomkhita Nqweni, the body launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa, to raise funds and offer financial support in response to the pandemic, disbursed R17 million in the first intervention phase. Nqweni said the fund was "determined to bring relief to the women and children of South Africa...
Taking stock of progress since its launch six months ago, the Solidarity Fund, which has reached 33.9 million citizens, yesterday announced a second Covid-19 intervention package of R75 million.

This will go towards assisting about 360 community organisations offering key services to women and children affected by gender-based violence (GBV).

According to fund CEO Nomkhita Nqweni, the body launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa, to raise funds and offer financial support in response to the pandemic, disbursed R17 million in the first intervention phase. Nqweni said the fund was "determined to bring relief to the women and children of South Africa and make a meaningful impact in ensuring victims of GBV have access to support", addressing the "underlying structural causes of abuse".

She said beneficiary organisations would be selected "across the ecosystem of GBV organisations, including those in prevention, response and the judicial system".

"The Solidarity Fund has made a significant impact by working to procure and provide critical medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, as well as  expanding testing capacity.

"We have also concluded the first phase of our food relief programme, with the second phase about to commence. "Our humanitarian interventions have seen us disburse food parcels to 280 000 vulnerable households, with the second phase involving the disbursement of food vouchers to a further 135 000 households, including unemployed young people, expectant mothers, women and/\r\n/
foreigners not classified as asylum seekers or refugees in terms of the Immigration Act," added Nqweni.

Among other milestones, the  fund has:


  1. Procured 41 million units of PPE, commissioned 20 000 noninvasive locally made ventilators, of which 4 000 have been delivered to health institutions;

  2. Supported the support service to perform up to 45 000 tests a day, at the peak of the pandemic;

  3. Expanded testing capability by supporting the national health support service with 1.2 million reagent and extraction kits; and

  4. Procured crucial medical equipment in support of the hotspot provinces of Gauteng, Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

The  fund has also allocated R100 million for once-off farming input vouchers of R2 000 for 47 000 rural households, 66% of which will be women-led.

"The vouchers are to assist subsistence-focused smallholder and household farmers who lost income during Covid-19 restrictions," said Nqweni.

"Subsistence farmers, who are predominantly rural, play a critical role in household food security. About 75% of them engage in agriculture to provide extra food to their households.

We believe these vouchers can prevent households from being pushed into the poverty trap."

brians@citizen.co.za

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