By External Source
Oct 14 2020 (IPS-Partners)
The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the food security and nutrition of millions of people around the world.
More than 820 million people were classified as chronically food insecure before the virus hit.
Unless immediate action is taken, we are facing an unprecedented global food emergency.
The food security of 135 million people was already categorised as crisis level or worse.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, that number could rise to 265 million by the end of the year.
The number of children under the age of five years who are stunted now stands at 144 million. That is more than one in five children worldwide.
As of late May, 368 million school children missed out on daily school meals on which they depend.
47 million kids are now classified as wasting, and these numbers will grow rapidly.
The pandemic could push about 49 million people into extreme poverty by the end of 2020.
But the economic repercussions of the virus are not the only factors giving rise to the global food crisis.
In many parts of the world, food security has been threatened by protracted conflict, recurrent droughts due to climate change, and rapid industrialization, as well as the worst locust infestation in decades.
On October 16, the annual celebration of World Food Day is calling for global solidarity to help recover from this crisis.
This year’s theme is: Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together.
It aims to make food systems more resilient to withstand global volatility and deliver affordable and sustainable diets for all.
It is more important than ever to ensure food makes its way to those in need even amidst the current COVID-19 crisis.