By Rabiu Sani
The Federal Government says it has adopted proactive measures to fast track implementation of social investment programmes to support vulnerable persons toward mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouk, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, stated this on Monday in Kano at the inauguration of the One UN Basket Fund project.
Represented by Bashir Nura-Alkali, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, the minister said that the Federal Government was placing premiums on such programmes to shore up the economic fortunes of the people.
She said that the government had introduced palliative measures to support vulnerable persons affected by the pandemic and reduce poverty in the country.
The minister added that the Federal Government was working in collaboration with the UN agencies and other development organisations to stimulate collective response toward assisting families hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Umar-Farouk called for transparency in the implementation of the UN intervention projects to ensure that the targeted population benefited from them.
In a remark, Gov. Abdulahi Ganduje attributed the successess recorded in the COVID-19 campaign to the establishment of the five molecular laboratories, community testing and distribution of palliative to 3,000 vulnerable households in the state.
Ganduje said that his administration had initiated viable programmes to reduce poverty and accelerate sustainable social and economic recovery of the state.
Also speaking, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Keil Kashen, disclosed that EU had contributed 50 million Euros to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Kashen lauded the federal and Kano State governments for the feat achieved in the fight against the pandemic in the state, and pledged continued support to the effort to wipe it out.
On his part, Paul Howe, the Country Representative, World Food Programme (WFP), said the One UN Basket Programme was designed to facilitate implementation of the UN interventions in Nigeria.
Howe said that about 67,000 vulnerable persons were targeted to benefit from the distribution of food items and cash transfers in urban areas of Kano to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.