To cushion the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic in Kano state, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with World Food Programme (WFP), Japan and European Union (EU) launched unconditional cash transfer in Kano, with 9,600 families and 2500 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as beneficiaries from the state.
A statement signed the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kano State, Abba Anwar stated that the kick-off of the programme marks the beginning of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Week in Kano, which will be feature 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.
Resident Representative of the UNDP, Muhammad Yahaya, who spoke during the occasion at Africa House, Government House, Kano, Monday, said the programme was aimed at helping those badly affected by the pandemic.
While revealing that, “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 commends 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 N13b earmarked for the country,” he discloses.
According to the statement, Yahaya commended Kano’s effort in taming Covid-19 pandemic, saying “Kano was, at a time, becoming the epi-center of the pandemic, but due to diligent effort by the Governor with these lieutenants, the state emerged victorious against the pandemic.”
Explaining further that “History has it that, Kano overcame many challenges before. As such Kano will at the same time came victorious against the pandemic.”
He 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.
Appreciating Ganduje’s effort and political will to cushion the effect of the pandemic, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, hinted, through 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 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 joins 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, emphasising that, “We will continue doing our best to cushion the effect of Covid-19.”
He said “Over 300, 000 households in 484 Wards, across the 44 local governments in the state, benefited 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.”
Assuring that, his administration would continue doing it’s best in partnering with development partners and other stakeholders.
Appreciating further that, “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 SDGs, Habib Yahaya Hotoro, is Focal Coordinator for the office.”
In his special recognition and commendation of the cash transfer, governor Ganduje maintained that, it was a great pleasure for him and a source of joy for the people of Kano that, “…today we are launching this laudable programme which targets the vulnerable through the transfer of monetary benefits to the poor households to enable them meet some of their basic needs.
This targeted cash transfers to the poor represents a formidable and effective tool not only in combating poverty but also in addressing inequality and promoting socio-economic development,” the statement concluded.