Hunger is now in Nigeria a great danger as Covid-19

 

In a very few weeks, the world has changed in dramatic ways. Suddenly, we realize that we are not as powerful as we imagined. Technology, our god as well as our millions and billions are able to help us. What about our various houses in different parts of the world, we are not able to fly out with our private planes. No country is willing and ready to receive us . Doctors, nurses and other health workers are overwhelmed by the virus. Yes, Covid-19 is forcing all of to change how we live, work and interact with families and others. SAID Nigeria wishes to let you know that you are all in other thoughts, your families and communities.

It is our hope that you, your families, and other loved ones are staying and keeping safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, this is creating unprecedented challenges globally, for our country, our states, our communities and families.

We have been receiving many mails from different parts of the country and from our international partners asking what we can do in the face of this great challenge to our existence. They ask how we can mitigate the impact of this pandemic especially for our focus groups, the poor and marginalized and help those living in extreme poverty deal with the challenges of Covid- 19.

As no one anticipated this global crisis, we did not foresee the needs we now face in our programs. We are concerned about what the economic impact will be for SAID Sweden. But our greatest concern is what will happen to children and families living in poverty, who were already the most vulnerable to falling over the edge.

We have always believed that a community or country’s greatest resources are its people. It is what we see and read in everyday heroic work of medical personals, nurses and other health care workers. These are first responders risking their lives to fight this deadly virus. It is the moral duty of all of us to do what we can to keep the world, our country, states, communities and our families and loved ones safe this period.

As this pandemic continues to upend people's lives and livelihoods and creates significant needs across the country and around the world, we like to appeal to all our members and supporters to do a good turn for those most in need at this time. In times like these, fear is rampant, but so is compassion.

It is a matter of experience that we know for sure: crises like this one hit the poorest and most vulnerable people hardest. Yes, when there are no jobs, the poor suffer the most, when the global economy shrinks, families living in poverty are the first to suffer. When food production diminishes, hungry mothers and children face the greatest food insecurity. When diseases spread, communities that have weak health systems see more lives lost. For many families that are already battling extreme poverty and hunger, the effect of coronavirus is already devastating.

The Nigerian government has ordered a total lockdown. People have been asked to stay in their homes. They are the first affected by COVID-19. "The financial impact, especially on families that survive on daily income - labourers, domestic help, taxi drivers, restaurant waiters, beauticians/hairdressers, bricklayers, painters, welders, mechanics, hawkers have been far-reaching. The challenge for most families especially these families is that they live from hand to mouth. They have no savings and no paid jobs as well as no social security. These are those who depend on daily wagers to survive for each day. Now, they are indoors and no stocked food items as even electricity and water are scare commodities, and no incomes. Hunger is now as a great danger as coronavirus.

Sadly, the government that has asked people to remain indoors has no robust scheme to provide daily sustenance for these families affected most by coronavirus. Therefore, we are calling for citizens’ initiatives championed by NGOs, churches, community based organizations, and other civil society organizations to mitigate the economic crisis face by poor and vulnerable families.

The impact on children and families in our programs is particularly devastating. And children are going hungry, and their parents no longer have an income to meet even their most basic needs. Many of these poor have already found incredible ways of coping with extremely difficult situations. But, this pandemic has added more hardship to many of their lives.

Chiamaka Ekwueme

Community Engagement Officer

SAID Nigeria

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