This equates to as many as 12,000 people dying every day while the global mortality rate for coronavirus reached a peak of 10,000 deaths per day in April 2020
More could die as a result of hunger linked to Covid-19 than from the virus itself, a charity has warned.
A report by Oxfam estimates that 122 million more people could be pushed to the brink of starvation this year as a result of the social and economic fallout from the pandemic including through mass unemployment, disruption to food production and supplies, and declining aid, reports the Independent.
This equates to as many as 12,000 people dying every day while the global mortality rate for coronavirus reached a peak of 10,000 deaths per day in April 2020, according to Oxfam’s Hunger Virus report.
Along with Afghanistan, the charity identified Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Venezuela, the west African Sahel, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Haiti as extreme hunger hotspots.
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“The knock-on impacts of Covid-19 are far more widespread than the virus itself, pushing millions of the world’s poorest people deeper into hunger and poverty. It is vital governments contain the spread of this deadly disease, but they must also prevent killing as many – if not more – people from hunger,” said the chief executive of Oxfam GB, Danny Sriskandarajah.
“For many people, Covid-19 comes as a crisis on top of a crisis. To break the cycle of hunger, governments must build fairer and more sustainable food systems that ensure small-scale producers and workers earn a living wage.”
Oxfam said countries with existing problems, such as South Sudan and Syria, were already seeing hunger worsen but there was also concern for middle-income countries such as India and Brazil.
Mass unemployment was affecting all countries, but informal labourers were suffering the most, often unable to travel to work.
Travel restrictions were also hitting food supplies by preventing farmers from hiring workers and small-scale producers from accessing their own fields.
The report said the virus was heightening the humanitarian disaster in Yemen, where two-thirds of people already have inadequate food.