The COVID-19 pandemic may lead to the loss of 13 million jobs in Nigeria, the World Food Programme of the United Nations declared on Wednesday.
According to the agency, Nigeria needs urgent financial intervention to boost its economy, as millions of citizens across the country are currently suffering the harsh economic impact of the virus.
WFP’s Senior Spokesperson, Elisabeth Byrs, said in a statement from her agency that more than $182m was needed to sustain life-saving aid to Africa’s most populous country over the next six months.
She explained 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 was quoted as saying, “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 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.
The WFP noted that job losses would further increase hunger, which was why it was supporting vulnerable citizens in Nigeria.