Banque Alimentaire Durable has set up an SMS-based voucher system to sustain vulnerable and poor families in Tunisia during the Covid-19 crisis. Photo via @amlitraitsocial on Twitter
Banque Alimentaire Durable has set up an SMS-based voucher system to sustain vulnerable and poor families in Tunisia during the Covid-19 crisis. Photo via @amlitraitsocial on Twitter

Tunisian NGO sends Covid-19 relief vouchers to needy families via SMS

By Chad Anthony Williams Time of article published May 12, 2020

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Cape Town - A Tunisian NGO has set up an SMS-based voucher system to help the poor and vulnerable weather the economic hardship brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, reported French daily newspaper Le Figaro.

Banque Alimentaire Durable launched the initiative just before the start of the holy month of Ramadaan.

According to Le Figaro, the sustainable food bank, in collaboration with the Tunisian Ministry of Women, has selected 300 families living in poor neighbourhoods in Tunis to benefit from the vouchers, which will be sent via SMS.

Once the citizens receive the code, they will be able to purchase goods for between €20 and €30 (about R395 and R590) per week at one of the local grocery stores.

In addition to the aid from the NGO, the organisation aims to encourage needy families to become more self-sufficient by, for example, growing vegetables in their gardens, reported the regional English newspaper the North Africa Post.

According to the NGO, they hope to expand the initiative to marginalised inland regions.

Pan-Arab media outlet the New Arab quoted Aisha Zakraoui, a member of the NGO, as saying: “Our objective is to provide food aid to needy people and in exchange they agree to take part in initiatives aimed at integrating them socially and professionally."

On March 22, the Tunisian government imposed a nationwide lockdown in a bid to stall the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and thousands of people in the north African country have lost their livelihoods due to the confinement.

Tunisia has reached just over 1,032 Covid-19 cases since its first case was reported on March 2.

A total of 727 Tunisians have recovered from the virus, while the country has recorded 45 deaths to date.

African News Agency (ANA)

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