The NGO Oxfam said on July 9 that the number of undernourished people in the world increased sharply in 2020, six times more than in 2019.
Oxfam estimates that 11 people can die from severe malnutrition every minute, while the number of people who can die from COVID-19 is 7 people per minute. A total of half a million people are living “in conditions of starvation” in the world, while 155 million are “extremely hungry”, equivalent to the populations of France and Germany combined.
It is worth mentioning that two-thirds of them live in countries that are at war or conflict. Yemen, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Venezuela and Syria are countries where food crises are worsened by the epidemic and its economic consequences.
According to Oxfam, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable communities around the world have sent a clear, urgent and repeated message: “Famine can kill people first. even during an epidemic.” Mass unemployment and severely disrupted food production have sent global food prices up 40%, the highest increase in more than a decade.
Oxfam noted that conflict remained the biggest cause of poverty around the world for the past three years in a row. The world is witnessing crisis on top of crisis, unending conflicts, economic consequences of pandemic and climate change crisis.
Oxfam made the above analysis before the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its report on global food security, expected on July 12.