11 people die of hunger each minute world-wide: Oxfam report

The anti-poverty organization Oxfam in its report says 11 people die of hunger each minute and that the number facing famine-like situation worldwide have increased six times in the past year.

Oxfam, in the report titled “The Hunger Virus Multiplies,” on Thursday said that the death toll from famine surpasses even Covid-19, which kills around seven people per minute around the globe.

Oxfam America’s President and CEO Abby Maxman said “the statistics are staggering, but we must remember that these figures are made up of individual people facing unimaginable suffering. Even one person is too many.”

At present, 155 million people around the globe live at crisis levels of food insecurity or worse, the humanitarian group said, adding that about 20 million more were included over last year. Almost two-thirds of them face hunger as their country’s are under military conflict.

Maxman said currently, the continuous conflict along with the Covid-19 economic fallout, and a worsening climate emergency has pushed over 520,000 people to the brink of starvation.

“Instead of battling the pandemic, warring parties fought each other, too often landing the last blow to millions already battered by weather disasters and economic shocks,” he added.

Oxfam said despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the global military investment increased by $51 billion, an amount that surpasses by at least six times of what the United Nations needs to stop hunger.

The report listed several countries as “the worst hunger hot spots,” all involved in conflict, including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Depriving civilians of food and water and hindering humanitarian relief, hunger is used as a weapon of war, Maxwell said, adding “people can’t live safely or find food when their markets are being bombed and crops and livestock are destroyed.”

The philanthropic organization requested governments to stop conflicts from continuing to induce “catastrophic hunger” and to ensure that relief agencies could function in conflict zones in order to reach the needy. It also called upon donor nations to fully and immediately fund the U.N.’s efforts to diminish hunger in the world.

Meanwhile, global warming and the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have caused a 40% rise in global food prices, which is the highest in the decade. This increase has significantly contributed to forcing over tens of millions people into hunger, the report said.

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