The coronavirus pandemic is taking a tremendous human and economic toll, and it’s also impacting nonprofit organisations around the globe. These critical organisations and their crucial missions may be among those that the coronavirus hits hardest, whether by drastically reducing activities and funding, slowing down programming, or cutting staff in times of crisis.

As the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our world with varying degrees of disruption, the Nigeria Network of NGOs undertook a survey to track the impact of the pandemic on the nonprofit sector. 

The Nonprofit Covid19 survey incorporates the responses generated from 115 organisations working on issues ranging from health, education, environment and human rights, spread across Nigeria.

“We have not been able to carry out any major activity; even the covid-19 awareness we worked on at the beginning of the pandemic was met with apathy and we could not continue anymore because of lack of funding,” one of the respondents explained.

In Nigeria, the country’s lockdowns froze economic activities, causing job losses and supply chain disruptions. More than 3.8 million people mainly working in the informal sector, face losing their jobs amid rising hardship. Some forecasts suggest that Nigeria’s unemployment rate could rise to 33.6% (or 39.4 million people) by the end of the year if urgent measures are not taken. Against this background, the role of civil society organisations and NGOs will become increasingly important in the post-COVID recovery.

Loss of funding, however, has hit the nonprofit sector hard, and it is impacting negatively its day-to-day activities, forcing organisations to limit their work in the field, and sometimes shut their operations completely. 

“Findings make it abundantly clear that the sector is facing great pressure and it is time for all critical stakeholders to step up to provide immediate relief,” the Nigeria Network of NGOs states in the report. “Those providing these critical services must be allowed to continue operations in ways that respect public health emergencies and protocols in a pandemic”.

The Nigeria Network of NGOs hopes that the findings may prove helpful to donors, government and the private sector, in supporting the civil society ecosystem to build back better and to ensure that beneficiaries continue to enjoy the services they provide. 

From Forus’ side, a COVID-19 taskforce was launched in May 2020 giving members a platform to learn and share their experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Forus launched a network-wide survey to identify the main impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work of Forus national platforms and regional coalitions, and their members.

You can download a copy of the Nonprofit Covid-19 Survey by the the Nigeria Network of NGOs here.

If you have any questions or comments about the Forus COVID-19 Task Force please contact Deirdre de Burca at 📧 deirdre@forus-international.org