A grant of $14,000 has been given from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) directed by the Brethren Disaster Ministries staff to COVID-19 response in Nigeria. This allocation supports Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) for two months of its pandemic response.
EYN made a request of $7,000 per month to help some of the most vulnerable widows and students stranded at Kulp Theological Seminary during the travel restrictions and “lock down” that began March 30. This program will be coordinated with the Nigeria Crisis Response to serve the most people possible.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there have been at least 1,932 COVID-19 cases and 58 related deaths in Nigeria. Brethren Disaster Ministries staff noted in the grant request, however, that this is likely a gross under representation of the cases in Nigeria. In recent days, Nigerian media have reported as many as 600 deaths in a likely COVID-19 outbreak in Kano State in northern Nigeria. There may be many more COVID-19 cases in other Nigerian states.
Nigeria imposed travel restrictions and a lock down starting March 30. The president of Nigeria announced the easing of confinement measures starting May 4, with a night curfew and the wearing of masks required. The grant request said that as the Kano situation is researched further, these orders may change.
The restrictions have created a hunger crisis for the poorest citizens of Nigeria and also have limited the ability of EYN staff to implement the Nigeria Crisis Response plan related to ongoing violence in the northeast of the country. Some crisis funds have been re-purposed to help with extreme hunger and preventive measures to slow the spread of the virus.
To contribute financially to the Emergency Disaster Fund go to www.brethren.org/edf . For more information about the joint Nigeria Crisis Response of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, go to www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis .