UNODC distributes food and health supplies to support children in vulnerable situations

23-07-2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading rapidly around the world with multiple adverse consequences. Responses are being coordinated at all levels and prevention and emergency measures are being taken to control and contain this pandemic.

Senegal set up a response mechanism against COVID-19 at an early stage. The implementation of the measures adopted by the health authorities to combat the COVID-19 pandemic also called for measures to ensure the protection of vulnerable categories of people, including children, especially those living on the streets.

These children are particularly vulnerable to contamination because of their mobility and social exposure, which can make them carriers and vectors of contamination.  The ministry is working to remove the children off the street and return them to their families. During the transition period, the children are placed in shelters that need extra support during the pandemic. 

 

 
Issa Saka, from UNODC with Mame Ngor Diouf, general secretary of the ministry, accompanied by Niokhobaye Diouf, Director of Child Protection and Mr. Diakhate Director of Equipment and Materials at the Ministry

 

It is under these circumstances that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) handed over food and sanitary materials (soap, bleach) to the Ministry of Women, Family, Gender and Child Protection to mark its participation in the Emergency Protection of Children, especially street children, against  COVID-19.

During the handover ceremony Issa Saka, Programme Officer, Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (TIPSOM) of UNODC handed over the following items to Mr. Mame Ngor Diouf, Secretary General of the Ministry, in the presence of Mr. Niokhobaye Diouf, Director of Child Protection and Mr. Diakhate Director of Equipment and Material of the said Ministry.

  • 5 tonnes of rice (25kg bag)
  • 4 tons of sugar
  • 200 litres of oil
  • 500 Sachets of powdered milk (500g)
  • 200 litres of bleach
  • 500 pieces of soap
Sugar, rice and cooking oil were handed over by ONUDC financed by USAID

According to data from the latest map of decentralized religious schools - known as daaras -  Dakar region alone has more than 2,024 daaras, with a total of 196,559 boarders known as talibés, 520 of which force children to beg, an equivalent of 28,258 children (14.37%) living in the streets.

Other data indicate 1524 daaras and 127,822 talibé children have been recorded in Touba, in the Diourbel region (GSI, 2017); there are 200 daaras in the Department of Saint-Louis, with 14,000 talibé children. Religious schools that force children to beg are nationwide and can be found in Thiès, Fatick, Kaolack, Matam, Kolda, Ziguinchor, Tambacounda, etc. (GSI, 2017).

Soap and bleach was handed over to the ministry

This activity was financed by USAID as part of the project to combat the exploitation of child beggars implemented in the communes of Medina, Gueule Tapee Fass Colobane, Pikine Nord and Diameguene Sicap Mbao.