A new batch of five additional communities today received cheques totaling 55 million naira to execute various human-oriented projects under the Anambra COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus, AN-CARES programme.

The cheques were for N26 million, being the first tranche for their various projects under the AN-CARES initiative, being implemented by the Anambra Community and Social Development Agency, ANCSDA.

Among the communities were Oroma-etiti in Anambra West, Urum in Awka North, Ezira in Orumba South, Ndiokolo in Orumba North and Ifite-Ogwari in Ayamelum Council Area.

Recall that earlier in May, a total of N95m was disbursed to ten benefitting focal poor communities and group in the State for the implementation.

The initiative is implemented under Programme For Result, P4R, where the state government invests and achieves results and the World Bank comes afterwards to evaluate what was done and then reimburses the government.

Presenting the cheques, the Anambra State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development Partners, Mr Chiamaka Nnake said the event once again underscores the importance the Chukwuma Soludo administration attaches to social protection, as part of its manifesto for a greater Anambra.

According to her, the latest disbursement brings to N150,000 million, the total sum Anambra State Government through the ANCSDA is committing to Community and Basic Groups services Delivery.

“The liveable and prosperous homeland envisioned as part of a greater Anambra is a homeland for all including the poor and vulnerable on our rural communities.

“The Soludo administration will therefore continue to support the AN-CARES programme and the State CSDA with the necessary funding to ensure the success of the initiative,” she stressed.

The Commissioner expressed gladness at the positive review of the implementation progress report on the first ten communities/ groups that received funding earlier last month.

She insisted that the sustainability of the programme depends largely on the performance of the benefitting communities in the first phase.

“I therefore urged today’s beneficiaries to emulate the first batch by making good use of these scarce resources being made available to them,” Nnake pointed out.

Earlier in his remarks, the General Manager ANCSDA, Mr Chudi Mojekwu, congratulated the community for making it to the funding level after a rigorous selection process.

He explained that the benefitted communities were selected from the poorest local governments in the state, based on a poverty mapping survey conducted in the state.

“Through the poverty mapping done, we targeted the poorest of the poor communities but it is a demand-driven project, that means communities have to show interest.

“There were many more communities that showed interest but we decided to choose these ones based on their level of responsiveness,” he said.

Mojekwu explained that the money is designed to be disbursed in tranches for effective monitoring, to ensure transparency, accountability, checks and balances.

“The financing plans is based on an agreement signed between the agency and the communities and that is to ensure that micro-projects are not abandoned.

“That is why we are insisting that communities do not veer off the original plan submitted to the agency and begin to add things in the project.

“This is because sometimes when the communities add to the project, they usually get stuck half-way and we wouldn’t want such to happen,” Mojekwu insisted.

Responding on behalf of the benefitting communities, Chief Benchuks Onuekwe from Ifite-Ogwari and the traditional ruler of Oroma-etiti, Igwe Nwaezekwe Okeke represented by Prince Rapuluchukwu Nwezekwe thanked the state government for the initiative aimed at deepening development at the very rural communities, where the people lack basic amenities.

They also commended the Agency for the transparency and efficiency in managing the process, assuring that they will deploy the monies for the intents they were appropriated.