By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Save the Children International (SCI), has said that Africa records 10,000th cases of coronavirus on Wednesday.
The organization warned that some of the most vulnerable children and their families across Africa who depend on the informal economy for their livelihoods are and will increasingly be impacted by measures designed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
A statement issued yesterday by Amanuel Mamo, Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children International, Nigeria, said “Significant efforts are being made by African governments to respond to this growing pandemic, however the number of cases in Africa have been increasing exponentially since 13th March 2020, with the total caseload on the continent doubling from just over 5000 to 10,000 in the space of a week.
“With South Sudan the latest country on the continent to confirm a case on Sunday, there remain just three African countries – Lesotho, Comoros and Sao Tome and Principe – who have yet to report a case of COVID- 19.”
It said governments in the region are focusing on limiting the spread of the COVID-19 with increased restrictions, “however, these measures disproportionately impact the poorest households, who depend on the informal economy for their already fragile livelihoods. Across the continent, unlike in many parts of the world, social security coverage in Africa is extremely limited or non-existent and largely confined to workers in the formal economy and their families.
“According to the International Labour Organisation, only 17.8 per cent of Africans receive at least one social protection cash benefit, and only about 10 per cent of the economically active population is covered by social security schemes.
“Children and their families across Africa have already been struggling through a decade of climate shocks and regular food crisis, which have driven numbers of hunger crises across the continent. Save the Children is warning that as markets close and movement is restricted, many households will have less income to meet their basic needs, including food and fuel for cooking.
“The lack of income will have particularly dire consequences for the poorest households, who may be forced to choose between paying rent and feeding their children.”