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UNICEF, Katsina State government Launches Cash Transfer Initiative for Nearly 20,000 Out-of-school Children in Kastina State

UNICEF, Katsina State Government and partners today inaugurated a cash transfer initiative to provide learning opportunities for over 20,000 out-of-school children in the state, as well as to improve the socio-economic well-being of recipients and their families.

Katsina State currently has 536,132 out-of-school children.

“The partnership between Katsina State Government and  UNICEF has yielded many positive results, not just in the education sector, but in other sectors of the state,” said Rt. Honourable Aminu Bello Maisari, Governor of Katsina State at the launch in Mani.

“We are grateful to UNICEF and the Educate A Child (EAC) project for the funds. The Programme Implementation Unit for the cash transfer programme will monitor the programme closely and ensure that the beneficiaries make judicious use of the resources,” added governor Maisari.

Through the cash transfer programme, a total of ₦332,832,000 will be disbursed to 20,802 out-of-school children (OOSC) and Almajiris in Kafur, Mani and Safana LGAs of Katsina State. The funds will be disbursed through 10,557 female parents/caregivers to  increase school enrolment and attendance rates for boys and girls.

Each female parent/caregiver will receive N8,000 per  tranche twice in  2022, amounting to N16,000.per beneficiary.

The cash transfer programme will also ensure that beneficiaries are enrolled and retained in any form of organized  school, including Integrated Qur’anic Schools (IQS) and provided with literacy and numeracy skills linked to employability and livelihood schemes.

The cash transfer programme is being delivered together with the birth registration programme which has so far seen registration of 20,400 children. Social workers will be equipped with required skills to track and reunify children living  on the street or similar  situations with their families, thereby ensuring family-based care for children. Already, 50 Mallams of Tsangaya schools in three LGAs have been trained on safeguarding and keeping children safe from violence and abuse in their facilities.

Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria said, “We are thankful to our partners, the Educate A Child Project, for funds for the cash transfer programme in Katsina State. The take-off of the cash transfer programme provides the opportunity to take children off the streets back to the classrooms where every school age child should be. We urge the government to continue to build on these interventions to ensure that every school age child is in school and learning.”

“UNICEF is excited that with this launch, we’ll be addressing  the important issues of not just access to education, but quality of learning as we focus on literacy and numeracy skills to build the foundation for employability and livelihood skills,” said Hawkins.

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