- More turbulent periods await Nigerians amid the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the country
- About 13 million jobs may be lost as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has reported
- The agency added that job loss will further increase widespread hunger among millions of people
With Nigeria facing an economic crisis due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has said if the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions continue it may lead to the loss of 13 million jobs in the country.
According to The Cable, Elisabeth Byrs, WFP spokesperson, disclosed this in a statement. She stressed that job losses will further increase widespread hunger among millions of Nigerians who are already suffering the harsh economic impact of the pandemic.
Recall that in order to curtail the spread of the disease, the borders were closed by both the state and federal governments, while offices and institutions were shut. However, the lockdown measures have been eased gradually.
According to Byrs, in order to provide assistance to those whose livelihoods and incomes have been affected by the pandemic, more than $182 million is needed in the next six months.
She went on to note that the agency is making efforts to feed three million needy people mostly affected by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in Kano, Lagos states, and Abuja.
The spokesperson added that the programme will also benefit internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
“We are concerned by conflict-affected communities in North-East Nigeria who already face extreme hunger and who are especially vulnerable. They are on life-support and need assistance to survive.
“We are actually scaling up our operations in the North-East to serve more people in response to the new challenges of more food insecurity posed by COVID-19,” Byrs said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that COVID-19 pandemic might cost 20 million Nigerians their jobs if it continues, Senate president, Senator Ahmed Lawan, has said.
The senator disclosed this in Abuja ahead of the first anniversary of the Ninth Senate. Lawan also said that international politics is frustrating Nigeria’s efforts to acquire sophisticated weapons for the Armed Forces to fight insecurity.
In a related development, the World Bank has predicted that about 23 million sub-Saharan Africans could become poor due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The prediction could mean the affected population may live on less than US$1.90 (GHc11.20p) per day in 2020. Countries such as Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa are likely to witness an increased number of poor people.
Per a report, the number of people to be affected in the three countries are 5 million, 2 million and 1 million respectively.
Across the sub-Saharan region, overall poverty is likely to rise given that low-income workers are more likely to lose their jobs as a result of COVID-19.
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