The World Food Programme of the United Nations says about 13 million people may lose their jobs in Nigeria as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WFP’s Senior Spokesperson, Elisabeth Byrs, in a statement noted that over 3.8 million citizens, particularly those in the informal sector could lose their jobs, adding that the figure could rise to 13 million if the restriction on movements persist for long.
Byrs further said in the statement that her agency need more than $182m to sustain life-saving aid to Africa’s most populous country over the next six months.
She said,“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.”
The agency warned that job losses would further increase hunger, which was why it was supporting vulnerable citizens in Nigeria.
According to the WFP, Nigeria needs urgent financial intervention to boost its economy, stressing that millions of citizens across the country are currently suffering the harsh economic impact of the virus.
The WFP official, however, stated that her organisation was distributing two months worth of food and nutrition assistance in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps and among vulnerable communities.
She also stated that three million vulnerable individuals in Abuja, Kano and Lagos would also receive assistance from the WFP.
“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 stated