Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday launched the ‘Unconditional cash transfer programme for vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19 in Lagos state’ to support communities and businesses deeply impacted by COVID-19.
The programme also known as COVID-19 response basket fund is meant to, “cushion the effect of the pandemic through stepped-up action to protect the very vulnerable, who are also faced with the loss of income as a result of measures taken by the government to contain the spread of the pandemic by strengthening their capacity for the continuation of livelihoods, employment and businesses.”
It is an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the federal and Lagos state governments, the European Union and some other donor organizations.
According to the Resident Representative of UN/EU Ambassador, Dr Mohammed Yaya, 22,600 families and 5,500 small and medium enterprises SMEs in Lagos will benefit from the basket through cash transfer.
In his goodwill message at the launch which took place at Ikoyi, Sanwo-Olu thanked UNDP, EU, FG and other donors for the gesture promising that his government has implemented and will continue to implement measures to ameliorate the effect of the pandemic on the people.
Reeling out all the efforts of his administration to cushion the effect of the pandemic on citizens since the outbreak till now the governor assured that the UNDP initiative will be providing cash for some of the most vulnerable areas in Lagos state.
Adding that it will take them out of poverty for them to start their lives again. He said that 800, 000 families in the state have so far been touched by its palliatives in the last three months.
Yaya said the project will entail quick implementation as well as transparent and trackable interventions to address the developmental impact of Covid-19 in selected locations and safeguard national progress towards the SDGs.
Adding that it would raise awareness, drive community action and galvanize the support of stakeholders, strengthen capacity for pandemic containment in selected hotspots communities.
“Improve food security and social cohesion among most vulnerable households in selected hot spot communities as well as strengthen the capacity of communities affected by the pandemic to maintain livelihoods and business continuity and prevent loss of employment, falling into poverty and hunger.”
Dignitaries present at the ceremony include the Senior Special Assistant on SDG to President Mohammadu Buhari, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Special Assistant to Governor Sanwo-Olu on SDG, Dr Mohammed Yaya, Resident Representative of UNDP, EU Ambassador who joined virtually and some members of the state exco.