Since the start of the Covid19 pandemic, International financial institutions like World Bank and International Monetary Fund have repeatedly spoken out not only about the economic downturn that will face every country around the world, but also the devastating impact the pandemic will have on the poor.
According to the World Bank, across parts of Africa and South Asia, there will be a rollback in the gains many countries made on fighting poverty, hunger and inequality. Pakistan ranked 94 out of 117 countries in the 2019 Global Hunger Index, its ranking listing it as a ‘serious’ country.
A new report titled “The Hunger Virus” by Oxfam International, an international charitable organisation which strives to alleviate global poverty, stated, “By the end of the year, 12,000 people per day could die from hunger linked to Covid-19, potentially more than will die from the disease itself.” According to this report the “Emerging hunger hotspots include India, South Africa and Brazil, where millions are said to be suffering from the economic fallout. Some organisations have predicted famines of biblical proportions as unprecedented quarantine orders and the sealing of borders disrupt trade and create labour shortages. Moreover, locust attacks in South Asia and Africa will threaten the already dwindling food supply. Oxfam also drew a parallel with big companies, which it said continue to make a profit, and illustrated how eight of the biggest food and drink companies paid over $18bn to shareholders since January — a sum 10 times higher than has been requested by the UN Covid-19 appeal to stop hunger in its tracks.”