Oxfam’s Hunger Virus Multiplies Report: Famine death toll outpaces COVID-19 fatalities | Daily Current Affairs 2021

Oxfam’s Hunger Virus Multiplies Report: Famine death toll outpaces COVID-19 fatalities

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The Hunger Virus Multiplies

As per the anti-poverty organization Oxfam’s report the coronavirus pandemic, climate crisis and conflicts have pushed more than half a million people to the brink of starvation.

In a report titled “The Hunger Virus Multiplies,” Oxfam said that the death toll from famine outpaces that of COVID-19, which kills around seven people per minute.

Key facts:

  • As per the report, 11 people are likely dying every minute from acute hunger because of three Cs:
  • Conflict
  • Covid-19 
  • Climate crisis.
  • These 3 Cs have pushed more than 520,000 people to the brink of starvation.
  • The number of people around the globe living with “extreme hunger” increased from last year by around 20 million to 155 million.
  • More than half a million people are living in “famine-like conditions” around the world.
  • The ongoing covid-19 pandemic along with the economic disruptions of the pandemic besides, escalating climate crisis have deepened poverty and catastrophic food insecurity across the hunger hotspots of the world.

What is fueling the crisis?

  • Around two-thirds of the 155 million facing hunger live in countries with military conflict.
  • Despite the deadly covid-19 pandemic, global military spending increased by $51 billion, Oxfam report underlines. This amount exceeds by at least six times what United Nations needs to stop hunger.
  • The economic effects of the pandemic, combined with global warming have caused a 40% increase in global food prices which the highest in over a decade.
  • This surge has contributed significantly to pushing tens of millions more people into hunger.

Hunger ‘hot spots’:

  • Oxfam listed several countries it considered “the world’s worst hunger hot spots,” where existing food crises were worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — all torn by conflict — have had a “surge in extreme levels of hunger since 2020.
  • Venezuela, the Central African Republic and the Sahel were also on Oxfam’s hotspot list, as well as India and Brazil, which are grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.

Way forward:

  • Governments must urgently provide funding to respond to hunger and social protection programs in order to save lives, rather than striking arms deals that lead to conflict, war, and hunger.

About Oxfam:

  • Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty and led by Oxfam International.
  • It is a major nonprofit group with an extensive collection of operations.
  • It was founded on 5 October 1942 in Oxford, England.
  • Oxfam works on trade justice, fair trade, education, debt and aid, livelihoods, health, HIV/AIDS, gender equality, conflict (campaigning for an international arms trade treaty) and natural disasters, democracy and human rights, and climate change.
  • It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The Executive Director of Oxfam is Gabriela Bucher.

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