How pandemic threatens to kill more from hunger than infection ─Report

*Mass unemployment, disruptions to food supplies, declining aid contributes to hunger ─Oxfam Group

* Yemen, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia cited as extreme hunger hotspots

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

The novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is unsettling in several economies across the world.

However, a recent survey has revealed that hunger caused by the disease may kill more people daily than deaths caused by it at its peak.

Oxfam advocacy group, in a report published Thursday, July 9, 2020, found that as many as 12,000 hunger-related deaths might occur each day by the end of the year due to the social and economic fallout from the epidemic, agency report said.

That would exceed the peak mortality rate from Covid-19 reached in April of just over 10,000 a day, the charity group said, citing data from Johns Hopkins University.

Oxfam further stated that mass unemployment, disruptions to food supplies and declining aid are contributing to hunger during the pandemic.

The number of people lacking adequate access to nutrition increased worldwide by almost 70% over the past four years because of climate change, conflict and socioeconomic shocks, and could increase another 82% to 270 million by end of 2020, World Food Programme’s (WFP) separate report also said in June.

Chema Vera, Oxfam’s interim Executive Director, said: “Governments must contain the spread of this deadly disease, but it is equally vital they take action to stop the pandemic killing as many ─if not more ─ people from hunger.”

Oxfam cited countries including Yemen, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Ethiopia as extreme hunger hotspots. Women and households headed by women are likely to bear the brunt of the crisis, it said.

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