Socioeconomic shocks, social protection and household food security amidst COVID-19 pandemic in Africa’s largest economy

Africa has been known to experience series of problems among which are poverty, food insecurity, lack of access to energy, lack of infrastructure among others. These problems were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a severe impact on the socioeconomic status of households in Africa. This paper examines the relationship between socioeconomic shocks, social protection, and household food security during the pandemic in Nigeria, the Africa’s largest economy. Using the World Bank’s COVID-19 national longitudinal baseline phone survey (2020) for the analysis and applied the multinomial logit regression, the study finds that socioeconomic shocks resulting from the pandemic have led to an increased level of food insecurity. Social protection programmes have played a crucial role in mitigating the impact of these shocks on households. However, the study also highlights the need for more targeted and effective social protection policies to ensure that vulnerable households are adequately protected from the adverse effects of the pandemic. The study, therefore, recommends that efforts be made to preserve food supply chains by mitigating the pandemic’s effect on food systems, increasing food production, and looking forward beyond the pandemic by building resilient food systems with the use of social protection interventions.