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UNDP awards Covid-19 response grants to local organisations

Limpho Sello

SEVEN local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have received a shot in the arm from the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) which gave them grants amounting to M1, 8 million.

The grants, meant to assist the organisations step up their fight against the deadly Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, were handed to the NGOs in Maseru this week. The funds will be used to come up with community-based solutions in fighting Covid-19.

The seven beneficiaries are the Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRSC), the Development for Peace Education (DPE), Partners in Health, Ether Pharmacy, World Vision, Edmonds and the Mineworkers Development Agency. They were selected from 80 applicant. They received funds ranging from M100 000 to M500 000. They are each expected to implement strategic community innovations to promote resilience and safeguard lives and livelihoods in response to Covid-19.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, the UNDP country representative Betty Wabunoha said they were happy to contribute to Lesotho’s efforts towards meeting its national development objectives in the fight against Covid-19.

“We are at more than 1000 confirmed cases and we are concerned about the potential and recurring socio-economic implications at national and community level as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Ms Wabunoha said.

“For the first time since 1990, global human development is on track to decline this year due to Covid-19. This is happening in the same year that marked the beginning of a Decade of Action towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

She said there was evidence in Lesotho and across the world that Covid-19 has fundamentally changed the course of development, adding that this called for new ways of doing business.

Ms Wabunoha said the UNDP invited expressions of interest from local innovators for the implementation of community-based solutions to address community level challenges all aimed at strengthening the community level response.

The call targeted individuals, community-based organisation and the private sector in two categories namely, socio-economic response and social cohesion and community engagement,” she said.

The grants are being executed through the Lesotho Accelerator Lab-a UNDP initiative for accelerating community-bred solutions for addressing development challenges.

On her part, the health ministry’s deputy principal secretary, Lesimole Moletsane, expressed gratitude for the UNDP support.

“The UNDP’s move of directing resources to communities is aligned with our aim to strengthen district health services and community sectors in delivering primary health care to enable resilience building in the health system to combat any pandemic including Covid-19, Adv Moletsane said.

LRCS representative, Moluoane Ramakhula, said they were honored to be chosen as beneficiaries, saying this would boost their work towards building resilient communities in the Covid-19 era.


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