While residents of Benin were not ordered to stay at home like their neighbors in Nigeria, the Covid-19 pandemic nonetheless forced them to slow down, putting many people at risk of food insecurity.
Half of the Beninese population lives below the poverty line and many depend on informal jobs which dried up in the midst of the health crisis. Food donations are organized to help the poorest.
Some of these donations went to an orphanage in the Togbin region, which has not received funding for two months, as its main donor is based in Italy, which has been hit hard. Children are at greater risk due to school closings and the lack of school meals.
Poor families also suffer. A father of five had to stop fishing after he was banned. He tries to support his family by sewing, but he is not sure that he will be able to recover financially. In the absence of promised government assistance, those in need had to rely on donations from their fellow citizens.