The world faced its worst hunger problem in at least five years in 2020 on the back of the coronavirus crisis, and the outlook remains grim again this year.
Some 155 million people across 55 countries — more than the population of Russia — suffered from issues ranging from a food crisis to famine, according to a report with data from more than a dozen agencies. That’s up 20 million from 2019, with economic shocks overtaking extreme weather as the No. 2 cause.
The worsening situation highlights how the pandemic has exacerbated food inequalities around the world, on top of extreme weather and political conflicts that are stifling access to key staples. Consumers are now also contending with rising food costs as rampant Chinese demand stretches global crop supplies.
“Covid-19 has been exacerbating fragilities,” said Dominique Burgeon, director of emergencies and resilience at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. “Its restrictions, for example, on the movement of goods and people, has resulted in widespread income losses, especially for those people who rely on informal work in urban households.”
Global Hunger Hits Highest in Years as Pandemic Hurts Income ["https://t.co/CFCo98CIm0"]
— Shehzad Younis (@shehzadyounis) May 5, 2021