The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has commenced the “cash and food assistant for vulnerable people” programme in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in response to the devastating effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
Blueprint reports that the programme held on Friday at Karmajiji was in collaboration with an international organisation, the World Food Programme (WFP).
The minister, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouk, represented at the event by the director of Human Resources, Mr Jaji Babatunde, said different categories of people would benefit from the programme in different parts of the country.
“Kano, Lagos and FCT are the three pilot states for the programme. In FCT alone, we have about 56,000 beneficiaries from three area councils, including Abuja Municipal, Bwari and Gwagwalada.
There are three categories of beneficiaries. First, is the unbank beneficiaries, which are about 12,520. They are given UBA’s prepaid card of N14, 000 with 25kg of rice, millet and sorghum and will later be enrolled to open bank accounts.
“The second category includes those with functional bank accounts. They are about 5,694. These vulnerable groups will get N38, 000 each. The monies will be transferred directly into their bank accounts for them to do petty businesses and have better lives.
The third is the Cash Mobile Wallet beneficiaries. They are about 5,292. They are given monies to help them cope with the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
Also speaking, the country representative of WFP, Mr. Paul Howe, said the organisation was investing over $1 million in the programme for two months.
He said: “We are trying to support Nigeria to achieve zero hunger by 2030. All our efforts are fully supported by the Swiss Government, who will do everything necessary to support WFP in Nigeria; out of love.
“We carried out some studies in Abuja and saw that the intervention is going to help the vulnerable a lot.
WFP has been working in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe in the past four years. Because of Covid-19, many people living in urban areas lost their livelihoods. The economy is not strong as it used to be and they are hungry.
“We are reaching out to people in Kano, Lagos and FCT. In FCT alone, we are putting over one million dollars.
What we are trying to do with the exercise is a one-off two months exercise to meet the needs of the people and then see what happens from there.”