Vulnerability and Poverty During Covid-19: Religious Minorities in Nigeria
Dayil, Plangsat Bitrus
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The Covid-19 pandemic has had direct and indirect effects on religiously marginalised groups, exacerbating existing inequities and undermining ambitions for those ‘furthest behind’ to be reached and supported through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The intersection of religious identity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, gender, and age compound vulnerability to violence and its impacts. This policy briefing, written by Dr Joanna Howard, Professor Oluwafunmilayo Para-Mallam, Dr Plangsat Bitrus Dayil, and Dr Philip Hayab, draws on research into the experiences of the pandemic by religious minorities living in Kaduna and Plateau states in Nigeria and finds that the pandemic deepened pre-existing ethno-religious fault lines. Exacerbated by ongoing insecurity, it contributed to increased poverty, with women particularly affected, and worsening mental health, with people experiencing fear, frustration, and depression. There are also long-term consequences for development; for example, on children’s education.