Acute hunger is expected to affect 270 million people worldwide by this year’s end—an 82% increase since the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic began, according to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
Severe food insecurity rose 70% in the 4 years leading up to the pandemic, according to the WFP. But now the economic fallout from pandemic-related job loss in cities in low- and middle-income countries and less money being sent home by relatives working in wealthier countries have compounded an already bleak situation.
In Latin America, which WFP said is the hardest hit region, the pandemic’s effects have led to a 3-fold increase in the number of people seeking food assistance. Food insecurity is up by 135% in West and Central Africa and by 90% in southern Africa.