Hunger linked to Covid-19 could cause 12,000 deaths a day, Oxfam warns

Oxfam said 121 million more people face being pushed to the brink of starvation because of the Covid-19 pandemic
Hunger linked to Covid-19 could cause 12,000 deaths a day, Oxfam warns
The food crisis in Yemen is getting worse as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. File image

Oxfam is warning 121 million more people face being pushed to the brink of starvation because of the Covid-19 pandemic - a rise of 82%.

The international development charity said mass unemployment in the developing world and massive disruption to food supplies means 12,000 people a day could die if nothing is done.

On Monday, the United Nations World Food Programme warned it needs to raise over €500,000 to keep its transport network running this year.

Michael McCarthy-Flynn, senior research and policy adviser at Oxfam Ireland, said some of the world's most desperate people are now getting even less food.

"People are really on starvation rations because the UN hasn't been fully funded. Also because of the [Covid-19] restrictions, aid agencies, like Oxfam, are having difficulty moving and distributing aid," he said.

"In Yemen, which probably has the highest humanitarian and hunger need at the moment, the UN has had to halve their rations. So people were already on very restricted rations and because of this situation they are now on starvation rations."

The report from Oxfam, The Hunger Virus, reveals the world’s ten worst hunger hotspots, places such as Afghanistan, Venezuela and Yemen, where the food crisis is most severe and getting worse as a result of the pandemic.

It also highlights emerging epicentres of hunger – middle-income countries such as India, South Africa, and Brazil – where millions of people who were barely managing have been tipped over the edge by the pandemic.

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