According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the number of Nigerians experiencing hunger has doubled because of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In its report Between Hunger and the Virus, the Organization suggested that government cash transfers to vulnerable strata had failed to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the economy and on people’s livelihoods.
The report is based on a year’s research done with Justice and Empowerment Initiatives, a local non-governmental organisation.
It focuses mainly on the commercial hub of Lagos, where more than 60 people from 13 communities have been heard.
According to those interviewed, the coronavirus pandemic had devastated their already fragile access to food and to making a living.
Only a small fraction of Nigerians had received government cash transfers and food handouts, according to the survey.
“This underscored the need for an effective social security system”, HRW said.
“Increased investment in social security should be one of the key changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic,” HRW’s Anietie Ewang said.