The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has predicted that additional 270 million people in 83 countries will experience what it calls “hunger pandemic” before the end of the year.
The figure represents a massive rise in the number of hungry people around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The United Nations agency says it plans to assist as much as 138 million people as the devastating socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic push millions more into food insecurity in low- and middle-income countries.
It says the frontline in the battle against the coronavirus is shifting from the rich world to the poor world.
The World Food Programme Executive Director, David Beasley, said since there’ was no medical vaccine for Covid-19 yet, access to food and availability of quality food can stand in against chaos.
He said without it there will be increase in social unrest and protests, rise in migration, deepening conflict and widespread under-nutrition among populations that were previously immuned from hunger.
To tackle the rising tide of hunger, Beasley says WFP is undertaking the biggest humanitarian response in its history, ramping up the number of people it assists to up to 138 million from a record of 97 million in 2019.
He added that sustained funding is urgently required to respond to the immediate consequences of the pandemic on the most vulnerable.
WFP is appealing for a US$ 4.9 billion over the next six months for its life-saving work in 83 countries.