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M2m grant for COVID-19 community-based solutions

UNDP Resident Representative Betty Wabunoha

Sept. 8, 2020 3 min read

3 min read

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Lesotho has awarded almost M2million in grants as part of the programming and response to development challenges in the country.

Titled ‘Innovation Challenge Grants for Community-based solutions against COVID-19’, the funding is meant for implementation of community level solutions against the pandemic.

At an event that was held in Maseru on September 3, UNDP awarded seven grants to national partners in the private sector and civil society, amounting to between M100 000 and M500 000.

Through these awards, the grantee organisations will implement strategic community innovations that promote resilience, safeguard lives and livelihoods, enable enjoyment of individual and collective human rights and maintain social cohesion, UNDP explained.

Speaking at the handover event, UNDP Resident Representative, Betty Wabunoha said it is anticipated that the implementation of the grants will create real value for the communities, to generate lessons for the current and future crises and informing recovery strategies.

Ms Wabunoha said at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appeared remote that Lesotho will be affected by the pandemic in the way it has been today.

“About the confirmed cases, we are all concerned about the potential and recurring socio-economic implications at national and community level as a result of this pandemic,” she said.

She continued that the government guidance on the national response, made it easy to frame the UNDP offer that is focused on the Lesotho’s context and consistent to the UNDP policy offer for the COVID-19 response, ensuring readiness of the health system, response and crisis management as well as socio-economic recovery.

She also said the UNDP Lesotho has thus reprogrammed resources in existing projects and continues to mobilise additional resources and partnerships to meet some of the critical needs identified for the national response and mitigation strategies.

For her part, the deputy principal secretary of the Ministry of Health, Lesimole Moletsane said the contribution will go a long way in ensuring that Lesotho is well placed to adequately respond to COVID 19, adding that in these trying times, the true worth of international support and relationships is exemplified.

On behalf of the government she thanked the UNDP and all other partners in supporting the country in delivering health services to the community.

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On behalf the recipients Moluoane Ramakhula said they are going to be challenged to adopt new norms owing to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, especially hygiene protocols.

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

It is anticipated that implementation of these grants’ projects will create real value for the communities, by leveraging knowledge, experiences and expertise at community level to generate lessons for the current and future crises and to inform recovery strategies.

In total, the grants are valued at approximately M1.8 million and the recipients include Partners in Health with a share of M168 000, Mineworkers Development Agency for the production of PPE using recycled materials with M169 000, Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) for risk communication and culture change among youth and in high risk communities with M480 000 and Ether Pharmacy for development of mobile applications for patients and distribution of medicines with a M100 000 grant.

Other grantees include the World Vision Lesotho and the Development for Peace Education (DPE).

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