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Scientists: because of the pandemic, the number of hungry people in the world may double

In 2020, 265 million people may be in a situation of acute food shortage, writes "Voice of America".

Photo: Shutterstock

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of hungry people in the world could double, the World Food Crisis Network warns.

According to the organization's annual report released on April 21, 2019 saw a record number of people facing severe food insecurity - 135 million in 000 countries and territories. According to the organization's forecasts, in 000 there will be almost twice as many of them - 55 million.

“In many places, we still lack the ability to collect reliable and timely data to truly know the magnitude and severity of food crises,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. “And the shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could put even more families and communities in an even more difficult position.”

The World Food Crisis Network, which brings together the UN, governmental and non-governmental organizations, notes that in 2019 there were 20 million more hungry people in the world than in 2017, when the first report was compiled.

On the subject: Coronavirus leads the world to the worst crisis in 100 years: forecast of IMF chief economist

The authors of the report attribute this to increased economic shocks and conflicts, as well as to drought and other weather events.

The report also notes that an additional 183 million people are at risk of a food crisis if additional stressors such as the coronavirus pandemic emerge.

The authors warn that a pandemic could disrupt important food supply chains, especially in vulnerable countries such as South Sudan, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

More than half of the 135 million hungry people are in Africa, 000 million in Asia and the Middle East, and another 000 million in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The report also notes that it may become more difficult for rich countries to help resolve food crises when their own socioeconomic situation is affected by coronavirus.

The organization promises to continue its work, helping millions of people in need around the world and providing up-to-date information on the food security implications of COVID-19.

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