Food Insecurity: Rivers, FCT top states nationally ― NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has announced that Rivers State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) take the lead among states with food insecurity in the country.

The Bureau said this in a survey report entitled: ‘The Impact of COVID-19 in Kano, Lagos, Rivers, and FCT Abuja’.

The report is the outcome of the second quarter,2020 Labor Force Survey, carried out by the World Bank Poverty Team in the month of August

In the summary of its report, the National Bureau of statistics said “the second quarter (Q2) 2020 Labor Force Survey (LFS) – collected by the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) between the 17th June and 8th July 2020 – provides crucial information on households’ response to COVID-19 in the key states of Kano, Lagos, Rivers, and FCT Abuja, which can be benchmarked against pre-crisis data from the 2018/19 Nigerian Living Standards Survey (NLSS). Several key insights emerge from this analysis:

“The share of people engaged in economic activities in the four states was lower in June/July 2020 than before the COVID-19 crisis, especially in FCT Abuja where the share of people working was down by around 14 percentage points.

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“Even if some people have resumed work, incomes may still be precarious, with larger shares of workers in Kano and Rivers engaged in agriculture and a smaller share of workers in Lagos engaged in the industry than before the COVID-19 crisis.

“Food insecurity appears to be prevalent across all four states, but especially in Rivers and FCT Abuja where 79 per cent of households and 72 per cent of households respectively reported having to skip meals since the start of the pandemic.

“Households in all four states are drawing down their savings and borrowing money to cover their living expenses, which may leave them more economically vulnerable and reduce their investments in human capital in the future.

“More than 1 in 5 households in Kano and FCT Abuja and more than 1 in 10 households in Lagos and Rivers reported violating containment measures in order to maintain a living, emphasizing the tradeoffs households face between earning incomes and protecting their health.

“The coverage of social assistance, in the form of free food, varied dramatically between the four states with 43 per cent of households in Rivers having received food assistance since the start of the pandemic compared with just 5 per cent of households in Kano (the state with the highest poverty headcount rate of the four); social assistance in cash or in kind was far rarer.

“Despite some variation between the four states, the majority of households knew about the importance of washing hands with soap and water (at least three-quarters of households in each state) and using face masks (at least 80 per cent of households in each state) to protect against COVID-19.”



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