Economics/Class Relations

Covid-19 could kill more people through hunger than the virus itself, warns Oxfam

By Harriet Barber, Telegraph

More people will die of hunger caused by the pandemic than of coronavirus this year, according to a report from Oxfam.

An estimated 122 million of the world’s poorest people could be plunged deeper into hunger and poverty, equating to 12,000 extra deaths a day, the charity said. The global mortality rate for Covid-19 reached a peak at 10,000 deaths per day in April.

It comes as the after effects of the pandemic and lockdowns have led to mass unemployment, plummeting incomes, disruption to food production and declining humanitarian aid.

Last year, 821 million people suffered from food insecurity of which 149 million faced crisis level hunger or worse. But now the dramatic slowdown of the economy and severe restrictions on movement has led to mass unemployment.

The report revealed the world’s 10 worst hunger ‘hotspots’, including Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and South Sudan. Middle-income countries such as India, South Africa and Brazil are also experiencing rapidly rising levels of hunger with millions being tipped over the edge.

Sana, a single mother of four children and owner of a hair salon in Yemen, told the charity: “I barely get a customer to visit my salon since the past few months, I am falling short to pay expenses and rent for over two months, and buying food on credit. I don’t know what to do.”


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