COVID-19 Response: EU, Government of Japan, UNDP, Humanitarian Affairs Ministry and Kano State Government launch new unconditional Cash Transfer Project to support 9,600 families and 2,500 SMEs

October 5, 2020

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.

Kano, Nigeria, 5 October 2020 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Kano State Government and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs (FMHDS) have launched an unconditional cash transfer project largely funded by the Government of Japan and the European Union (EU). With a total sum of N 2.95 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 unveiling of the project in Kano was officiated by the Honorable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), H.E Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the European Union (EU) Ambassador H.E Ketil Karlsen, and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Mohamad Yahya. 

With over 1,738 recorded cases as of 5 October 2020, and the third highest poverty rate in the nation, Kano is one of the five hotspot states burdened by the pandemic nationwide. In urban poor communities in Kano metropolis, particularly Kano Municipal comprising Fagge, Dala, Gwale, Tarauni, and Nasarawa Local Government Areas (LGAs), 9,600 individuals will benefit from the cash for work programme while an additional 2,500 small to medium-sized (SMEs) will receive cash grants for their businesses and start-ups to support business continuity. 

The Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje highlighted the state’s readiness to collaborate with stakeholders noting, “We increasingly understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is more than just a health crisis, which will make achieving the SDGs more challenging than ever before. Against this backdrop, the Government of Kano is collaborating with all partners, including the UNDP, to focus on key areas - good health systems and the fight against hunger- to ensure our people achieve well-being and economic prosperity.”

In addition to the growing numbers of infections and case fatalities, the pandemic has also brought adverse effects on Nigeria’s poor and vulnerable population which calls for concentrated action to simultaneously mitigate both health and socioeconomic implications. UNDP is drawing on lessons learned from the ever-changing context to ensure that COVID support is dynamic and flexible. In Nigeria, with support from the EU, the Government of Japan and other key partners 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.

The EU head of Delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS Ambassador, Ketil Karlsen, noted that “the COVID-19 pandemic presents a risk, but also an opportunity to make impactful change and has shown us that investing in human capital is now more important than investing in physical infrastructure. We must continue to work together, as history will reflect how we supported the most vulnerable at the height of this crisis."

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to trigger a 60 percent decline in earnings for the world’s 1.6 billion informal workers (ILO), while half of the world is trying to survive without any form of social protection. Global efforts are needed to take immediate bold action to stem the socio-economic devastation, ensure that recovery efforts are sustainable and that countries move towards a green economy, taking a different path from the previous global development trajectory.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a multi-sector human development crisis. For the first time since its introduction in 1990, the Human Development Index is projected to decline globally” the UNDP Nigeria, Resident Representative, Mohamed Yahya said. “However, it is in this historic context that we must work together to recommit our support towards achieving an inclusive, prosperous and equitable nation for all people” he added.

Encouraged at the benefits of the partnership, Hon. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq said, “We are excited about this partnership with the UNDP and the Kano State Government which demonstrates to Nigerians, and indeed the global community, our determination in supporting not only initiatives that will bring immediate relief, but also ones that ensure long-term growth and recovery from the effects of this pandemic.”

While addressing the socio-economic impact of the virus, UNDP will draw on their work around human rights, stigma and discrimination, to support governments, civil society, UN entities and other stakeholders to highlight gaps in law, policies and practices that hinder a human rights-based COVID-19 response. The UNDP will continue to help and ensure that the responses of countries are not just comprehensive, but equitable and inclusive so that communities can continue to make progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ending the event with a long-term outlook, Senior Special Assistant to the Presidents on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire noted, “We will continue to reiterate our national commitment to the implementation of the SDGs by  ensuring our initiatives, and these types of rigorous partnerships with the UNDP, reach every sector of the Nigerian economy - all 774 local governments - so no one is left behind.”

Notes to the editors:

On April 6 2020, the UN, in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria, launched the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund. The Basket Fund serves as the One COVID-19 Financing and Investment Platform, through which different stakeholders (including UN, other multilateral and bilateral donors, as well as private sector donors, foundations and philanthropists) can channel their financial support to the multi-sectoral efforts of the Presidential Task Force on the COVID-19 Response.

As of July 2020, the One UN COVID-19 response Basket Fund, managed by UNDP had mobilised US$63.8 million, including US$54.6 million from the European Union (EU); US$2.2 million from UN agencies; $US4 million from the private sector (Dangote US$ 3.8 million and AP Maersk US$ 0.2 million); US$0.4 million from the Government of Switzerland; US$ 1 million from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; US$ 400,000 MacArthur Foundation; US$ 1,050,000 from Government of Norway.

As of June 2020, the Project Board had allocated US$ 42,767,450.16 for response interventions to be undertaken by Participating UN Organizations (PUNOs) covering the following areas: Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE); Strengthening State level Operational Capacity in Surveillance, Infection Prevention, and Control; Building Capacity of Healthcare Workers in Case Management and strengthening hospital capacities to respond; and, engagement with Civil Society Organisations to reverse the negative impact of COVID-19 on equal access to essential health services.

Through the Basket Fund, UNDP has procured over $ 13.0 million (with a significant contribution from the EU) worth of health equipment including PPE as emergency support to contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

For more information and media enquiries contact:


Alison Clement – Communications Specialist, UNDP Nigeria | +234 701 590 6558|  

At the EU: 

Modestus Chukwulaka - Press and Information Officer, EU in Nigeria | +234 9 4617800/7 ext 204 | +234 8033113017;