Shabnam Farooq: The world has never faced a hunger emergency like this, experts say. It could double the number of people facing acute hunger to 265 million by the end of this year.
In India, thousands of workers are lining up twice a day for bread and fried vegetables to keep hunger at bay.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought hunger to millions of people around the world. National lockdowns and social distancing measures are drying up work and incomes, and are likely to disrupt agricultural production and supply routes — leaving millions to worry how they will get enough to eat.The coronavirus has sometimes been called an equalizer because it has sickened both rich and poor, but when it comes to food, the commonality ends. It is poor people, including large segments of poorer nations, who are now going hungry and facing the prospect of starving.
Already, 135 million people had been facing acute food shortages, but now with the pandemic, 130 million more could go hungry in 2020, the World Food Program, a United Nations agency. Altogether, an estimated 265 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by year’s end.The world has experienced severe hunger crises before, but those were regional and caused by one factor or another — extreme weather, economic downturns, wars or political instability.
This hunger crisis, experts say, is global and caused by a multitude of factors linked to the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing interruption of the economic order: the sudden loss in income for countless millions who were already living hand-to-mouth; the collapse in oil prices; widespread shortages of hard currency from tourism drying up; overseas workers not having earnings to send home; and ongoing problems like climate change, violence, population dislocations and humanitarian disasters.
While the system of food distribution and retailing in rich nations is organized and automated, he said, systems in developing countries are “labor intensive,” making “these supply chains much more vulnerable to Covid-19 and social distancing regulations.”
Instead of coronavirus, the hunger will kill us,” we people arehoping to eat his first meal in a day. Migrants waiting in food lines have fought each other over a plate of rice and lentils. Mr. Singh said he was ashamed to beg for food but had no other option.
“The lockdown has trampled on our dignity,”
As many go hungry, there is concern in a number of countries that food shortages will lead to social discord. In kashmir, residents of the UT of j and k have begun blocking roads to call attention to their need for food. In kashmir ,rioters have broken into neighborhood food kiosks and faced off with the police.
Writer mir shabnam farooq and persuing her law degree at kashmir law college srinagar… email@example.com