Share article:
Share article:

Coronavirus: world famine could double in 2020

Credit: Belga

The number of people on the brink of famine could nearly double by the end of 2020 due to the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“The lives and livelihoods of 265 million people in low and middle-income countries will be under severe threat unless swift action is taken to tackle the pandemic,” said the World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday.

“That is nearly double the number in the newly published Global Report on Food Crises 2020, which estimates that 135 million people in 55 countries currently face acute hunger,” the WFP said. This report was drawn up before the onset of the coronavirus crisis. “The contrasting figures provide a startling insight into the devastating potential of this virus,” the WFP said.

Related Posts


“People who needed help are going to need help for longer and new people are going to be food insecure because of Covid-19,” senior WFP economist Arif Husain told AFP.

“The greatest worry is for people living in conflict zones and those forced from their homes and into refugee camps,” according to the WFP.

“The scenario in poor countries is too gruesome to comprehend,” Husain said in the WFP report. “People are losing their livelihoods and their incomes and, at the same time, supply chains are disrupted. This translates into a double whammy which has both the breadth and the depth of hunger increasing around the world.”

WFP will expand its “real-time, remote food-security monitoring in several countries, to assess how supply chains are functioning and monitor households’ access to health care,” they said.

They are also “assessing where cash transfers can be distributed electronically in areas where food is readily available.”

“Other measures include pre-positioning food closest to those most in need — while supply chains are still working — providing double rations to reduce the number of distributions, providing take-home rations to replace school meals, and launching health-education campaigns,” WFP said.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...