The pandemic pushes hundreds of millions of people toward starvation and poverty
Yet the worst pain is centered in the developing world. In recent weeks, a host of international organizations and agencies have sounded alarms over crises provoked by the novel coronavirus. While many Western governments managed to hold the line through stimulus programs, poorer nations are floundering amid massive public debt and shortfalls in state revenue. All the while, the roughly 2 billion people who eke out a living in the world’s informal economies face varying degrees of deprivation.
David Beasley, the executive director of the U.N.’s World Food Program, warned during a Sept. 18 briefing that a “wave of hunger and famine still threatens to sweep across the globe.” He said his organization needed close to $5 billion to prevent 30 million people from dying of starvation. According to the agency, some 135 million people around the world faced acute food insecurity before the pandemic, and that number is expected to double this year.