Fri 09 July 2021:
Oxfam, a poverty eradication organization, says 11 people die from hunger every minute, and the number of people around the world facing famine-like situations has increased six-fold from last year. In a report titled “The Starvation Virus Proliferates,” Oxfam said Thursday that famine killed more than Covid-19, which kills about seven people per minute.
“As many as 11 people are likely dying of hunger and malnutrition each minute. This is more than the current global death rate of COVID-19, which is around seven people per minute,” the nonprofit group said in a press release.
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According to the report, titled the hunger virus multiples, conflict remains “the primary cause of hunger since the pandemic, pushing over half a million people into famine-like conditions — a six-fold increase since 2020.”
War and conflict remain the primary cause of hunger, representing two-thirds of hunger-related deaths globally. However, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and economic shocks as a result of Covid-19, as well as the worsening climate crisis, have pushed tens of millions into hunger, the report noted.
Global food prices have also spiked by 40%, the highest increase in more than 10 years, the report said.
“Overall, 155 million people around the world are now living in crisis levels of food insecurity or worse — that is 20 million more than last year,” the report added.
“Around two out of every three of these people are going hungry primarily because their country is in war and conflict,” it said.
The report added that the climate crisis and coronavirus pandemic have a “massive impact” on economies which pushed “tens of millions more people into hunger.”
“Mass unemployment and severely disrupted food production have led to a 40 percent surge in global food prices — the highest rise in over a decade,” it noted.
Citing Oxfam’s Executive Director, Gabriela Bucher, the statement added: “Today, unrelenting conflict on top of the COVID-19 economic fallout, and a worsening climate crisis, has pushed more than 520,000 people to the brink of starvation.”
“Instead of battling the pandemic, warring parties fought each other, too often landing the last blow to millions already battered by weather disasters and economic shocks,” Bucher said.
“Despite the pandemic, global military spending rose by $51 billion — enough to cover six and a half times what the UN says it needs to stop people going hungry,” she added.
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