Over 150 million people were pushed into extreme poverty in the year 2020 as a result of the negative effects of the COVID-19 on the global economy, making them join hundreds of millions of people living below the poverty line, a report by the World Bank has revealed.
This is just as the health and economic impacts of the pandemic have been devastating, with the rise in hunger been one of its most tangible symptoms.
As a result of the development, almost one in every 10 persons live in chronic hunger in an age of food waste and plenty, the report by the bank further stated.
The report is titled “COVID crisis is fueling food price rises for world’s poorest.”
“Income losses have translated into less money in people’s pockets to buy food, while market and supply disruptions due to movement restrictions have created local shortages and higher prices, especially for perishable goods.
“Global food prices, as measured by a World Bank food price index, rose by 14 percent in 2020. Surveys conducted in 45 nations show significant percentages of people running out of food or reducing their consumption,” the report stated.
To prevent more people falling into food shortage situations, the Bank advised that three steps should be taken.
” Nations must ensure that food and other essential goods flow as freely as possible across borders. Nations must guide against backsliding into export restrictions and hardened border that make food and other essentials scarce or more costly.
“The second priority is bolstering social safety nets. Short term social safety nets offer a vital cushion for families hit by the health and economic crises.
“The third priority is enhancing prevention and preparedness. The world’s food systems endured numerous shocks in 2020, from economic impacts on producers and consumers to desert locust swarms and erratic weather,” it added.
The World Bank called for a drastic reduction in food loss and waste, saying focusing on food security would address a basic injustice as almost one in 10 persons live in chronic hunger in an age of food waste and plenty.