Famine risk during Covid

Famine risk during Covid

Many regions at famine risk, millions facing hunger

Situation remained extremely difficult for the most fragile communities during the last few months. As per latest estimates and reports, there is no relieve seems to be happening anytime soon. Conflicts, climate change and economic shocks have been the deciding factors.

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Famine risk during Covid

Situation remained extremely difficult for the most fragile communities during the last few months. As per latest estimates and reports, there is no relieve seems to be happening anytime soon. Conflicts, climate change and economic shocks have been the deciding factors for these people’s plight. While the world is busy battling with Covid-19 pandemic, number of countries and regions are already facing uncertainty and hunger. Further, the pandemic has made it difficult for relief agencies to be available with assistance and support at the soonest.

Amid the current crisis, many African nations remain the worst hit of conflicts, climate change and economic shocks. While four countries are already facing hunger, millions of people are at risk, says report. World Food Programme (WFP) says any delay in funding and humanitarian access can risk the life of people in need. As many as 41 million people in 43 nations hover on the edge of famine in 2021, compared to 27 million two years back. Expressing his concern over the devastating situation, the WFP Executive Director David Beasley said, it is a very disheartening situation this year, when as many as four countries facing famine-like conditions.

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Millions on the verge of hunger

Calling the situation “just tragic”, the WFP chief said, “these are real people with real names”. Today, there are millions more are on the verge of hunger than those were six months back, the UN food agency head said. The countries – with total population of 584,000 – already facing famine-like conditions are Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan and Yemen. Also, the famine-like conditions have emerged in many pockets of Nigeria and Burkina Faso. In 2011, 260,000 people died of hunger in Somalia, while famine was declared after half of them had already died.

When these people need our help, it’s not the time to debate on the numbers of death due to catastrophe, Beasley argued. Millions more people are now on the verge of famine than six months ago due to old and new conflicts, climate shocks and Covid-19 pandemic, along with a lack of funding, informed the WFP in a statement. These people and regions are just nearing the feminine conditions. If we miss to arrange immediate emergency food assistance, these people may have to face starvation too.

Famine risk during Covid

The UN food agency has appealed for $5 billion “to avoid famine” and support the “biggest operation in its history”. As the pandemic has already eaten emergency aid budget, millions of refugees are facing “uncertainty and hunger”, the statement said. In absence of funding and support, progress has stalled and reversed, the WFP statement said. Presently, an estimated over 270 million people are at risk of acute or even higher food insecurity, it said. These people can be saved from distressing situation only through sufficient funding and access, it said.

The agency has planned for its biggest operation ever, with target to offer lifesaving food and nutritional assistance to 139 millions. Western and Central Africa is facing acute crisis during pandemic, which has left people without work to supplement their ration. At the launch its Global Operational Response Plan, the WFP said it will have to make “brutal choices” in as many as eight countries and regions while giving assistance due to significant fund crunch. The agency will have to cut short its assistance in these regions. For instance, they will provide reduced ration in across east and southern Africa, and the Middle East.

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