9,600 families, 2,500 SMEs to benefit from UNDP, WFP, EU’s Covid-19 support to Kano

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Kano State Government and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs (FMHDS), has launched an unconditional cash transfer project largely funded by the Government of Japan and the European Union (EU).

With a total sum of N2.95 billion (equivalent to US$7,700,000), the project implemented under the Nigeria One UN COVID-19 response seeks to alleviate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic on the poor and vulnerable and strengthen the resilience of communities in Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Kano State deeply impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

The programme is expected to benefit 9,600 families and 2,500 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kano State.

The support also entails the distribution of 200 hospital beds with their accessories (mattresses, side drawers, pillows with cases, etc), 2 ambulances and 20,000 KN-95 face masks to health facilities, among others.

The resident representative of the UNDP, Muhammad Yahaya, who made this disclosure at Africa House, Government House, Kano, said the programme was designed to help individuals who are worst affected by the pandemic.

“The UNDP through the ONE UN COVID-19 Basket Fund is supporting communities…deeply impacted by COVID-19 to cushion the effect of the pandemic through stepped-up action to protect the very vulnerable,” he said.

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Yahaya commended Governor Ganduje for his effort in providing palliatives to the vulnerable.

“It is gratifying to note that 9,600 families and 2,500 SMEs will benefit from this programme, with N460 million in Kano State alone. As part of the total sum N13bn earmarked for the country,” he said.

Referring to Kano’s effort in taming COVID-19 pandemic, Yahaya appreciated that “Kano was, at a time, becoming the epicentre of the pandemic, but due to diligent effort by the Governor with his lieutenants, the state emerged victorious against the pandemic”.

“History has it that Kano overcame many challenges before. As such Kano will at the same time come victorious against the pandemic,” he said.

Yahaya commended European Union (EU) for the generosity, Embassies of Japan and Canada, Dangote, Melinda and Gates Foundation, among others in their efforts in facing all the challenges of the pandemic.

He particularly appreciated Governor Ganduje’s effort and political will to cushion the effect of the pandemic.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, hinted through a virtual link that her office is working very hard to see to the development of the state.

“We are currently working at Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Infectious Diseases Hospital and Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Hospital. We will continue to do our best to see that we achieve all MDG goals. While supporting you all the time,” she said.

Ambassador of the European Union who also joined the discussion virtually, Ketil Karlsen, commended Governor Ganduje for the political will accorded to the partnership.

In his remarks, Governor Ganduje assured that the tempo with which the state fought the pandemic would be sustained.

“We will continue doing our best to cushion the effect of COVID-19. Over 300, 000 households in 484 Wards, across the 44 local governments in the state, benefit from the palliatives given to members of the public. This is in addition to the consignment of food items sent by the federal government which had also been distributed to the less privileged citizens to reduce the hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ganduje said.

He assured that his the administration would continue doing its best in partnering with development partners and other stakeholders.

“The government of Kano state is indeed grateful and feel strengthened by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) nomination of Kano state as the Zonal hub for consultations on SDGs and Social Protection, which my Special Adviser on MDGs, Habib Yahaya Hotoro, is Focal Coordinator for the office,” he said.

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