Relief has come for thousands of poor Nigerians living in urban centres in Lagos, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as the federal government and the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) has kicked off cash transfer and distribution of food items to people severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, 500,000 vulnerable Nigerians worst-hit by the “pandemic in COVID-19 hotspots in the cities of Kano, Abuja and Lagos” would benefit from the scheme which was launched in Kano on Monday evening. In the first phase of the programme, which Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje kicked off in Nasarawa local government area on Monday, the beneficiaries, both men and women, went home with three bags of 25 kg each of sorghum, millet, rice and cash.
The governor praised WFP for adopting a very transparent method in distributing the food items and cash to the beneficiaries.
“The partnership has enabled us to save the lives of thousands of people in Kano State during these difficult times,” Governor Ganduje said.
LEADERSHIP learnt that 67,000 poor Kano residents are benefitting from the initiative under the first round. Already, bank accounts have been opened for them as the ATM cards and account details were presented to the beneficiaries at the Kano event to enable them access the funds.
To ensure smooth implementation, the federal government released 2,000 metric tonnes of food items from its Strategic Grain Reserve (valued at $1 million) while WFP is releasing $3 million as cash assistance.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Fati Abba, told LEADERSHIP that with the grains and the cash gift, she would begin a small business in the front of her house in Line In Pump area of Gwagwa in the metropolis. She expressed gratitude to the government and WFP for bringing succour to them.
In line with WFP arrangement for home deliveries of the cash and food items