Reaching vulnerable households through cash transfer grants

Posted January 3, 2022

The project is expected to impact 44,500 vulnerable households and over 10,000 MSMEs. The selected states Kano, Lagos, Bauchi, Katsina, Jigawa, Borno and FCT.

In Nigeria, cash transfer project implemented by UNDP is helping vulnerable households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This support aims at ensuring business continuity while cushioning the effect of the pandemic. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of nearly every individual around the world including millions of Nigerians. As a result, Nigeria is grappling with high levels of unemployment, while affecting livelihoods, poverty and well-being. 

The project is expected to impact 44,500 vulnerable households and over 10,000 MSMEs. The selected states Kano, Lagos, Bauchi, Katsina, Jigawa, Borno and FCT. 

The programme is also promoting gender equality through financial inclusion for more women through the opening of bank accounts, especially for females who own small businesses, yet do not have personal bank accounts. 

Meet some of the Beneficiaries


Hadiza Abubakar, is one of the 5,000 beneficiaries of the UN Basket Fund cash transfer programme in Bauchi State. With the cash grant, Hadiza has been able to make and sell Masa, a popular delicacy in the region. The proceeds from her sales has enabled Hadiza to address the basic needs of her immediate family. 

“The grant I received has helped me scale up my small business. I hope to build from this and continue to increase my sales so that I can send my children to school and continue to take care of my family” This is made possible through funding from the European Union. 


Rahama is one out of thousands of micro-business owners who has benefited from the UNDP cash transfer programme, initiated to cushion the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses. The cash grant she received enabled her to start her own poultry business.

Through funding by the Government of Japan, UNDP supports selected vulnerable communities affected by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in Kano and Lagos states to further strengthen the measures put in place by the government in reducing the negative impact of the pandemic in Nigeria. 

Watch some beneficiaries share their stories. 

In Kano State, 1,600 individual households and 1,027 small and medium sized enterprises received cash transfers to reduce the negative effects of the pandemic. 
Shemau Musa shares how this support has benefited her during these tough times. Watch video

Akinwande is one of 2,069 beneficiaries in Lagos State who received cash transfers under the UNDP cash transfer programme. Watch Akinwande share his story about the sustainable impact the project has had on his business. 

Gbolahan, a bookshop owner in Lagos was badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The decline in sales at the peak of the pandemic affected his business. He was not able to pay his staff and eventually had to let them go.

In April 2021, he received a cash grant through the UNDP cash transfer project, and this has helped his business. “This grant has helped me to sustain my business. I commend UNDP and the Government of Japan for their tremendous effort and for supporting businesses in Nigeria during this pandemic.” Gbolahan, is one of the beneficiaries in Lagos State who has benefitted from the UNDP cash transfer project aimed at cushioning the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


At the end of this project, UNDP hopes to strengthen capacities of hotspot LGAs for pandemic containment, improve food security and social cohesion among most vulnerable households in the identified hotspots LGAs, and maintain livelihoods and business continuity. 

Under the One UN COVID-19 response, UNDP is pivoting to address the increasingly severe social and economic impacts of the pandemic and support the rights-based social contracts needed for lasting change. 

Project team with Beneficiaries