Covid-19: The pandemic heightens food insecurity in Benin

Volunteers wait to hand out food in Benin.
Volunteers wait to hand out food in Benin. © FRANCE 24 screengrab

While residents of Benin haven’t been ordered to stay home like their neighbours in Nigeria, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced them to slow down nevertheless, putting many at risk of food insecurity.

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Half the population in Benin lives below the poverty line and many rely on informal jobs that have dried up amid the health crisis. Food donations are being organised to help those most in need.

Some of those donations went to an orphanage in the Togbin area, which hasn’t received funding in two months as its biggest donor is based in hard-hit Italy. Children are further at risk because of the closure of schools and the lack of school lunches.

Poor families are suffering too. One father of five had to stop fishing after it was banned. He’s trying to support his family by sewing, but isn’t sure he will be able to recover financially. In the absence of promised government aid, those in need have had to rely on donations from their fellow citizens.

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