LONDON (Al- Jazeera) -Eleven people die every minute of hunger, according to a new report by Oxfam, which also found the number of those facing famine-like conditions globally has increased by six times over the past year.
Published on Friday, “The Hunger Virus Multiplies” report said the death toll from famine outpaces that of COVID-19, which kills about seven people per minute.
“The statistics are staggering, but we must remember that these figures are made up of individual people facing unimaginable suffering. Even one person is too many,” said Abby Maxman, Oxfam America’s president and chief executive officer.
According to the charity, 155 million people around the world now live at crisis levels of food insecurity or worse – some 20 million more than last year. About two-thirds of them face hunger because their country is in military conflict.
As of mid-June, the number of people falling into the most acute phase of the famine stood at 521,814 across Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan and Yemen – up from 84,500 last year, an increase of more than 500 percent, according to the global report on Food Crises 202.
The group identified countries including Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Afghanistan and Venezuela as places where existing food crises had been worsened by the onset of the pandemic and its economic consequences.
Oxfam said the three main causes triggering acute hunger were COVID-19, the climate crisis and conflict. Wars were the single largest driver of hunger since the pandemic started, pushing nearly 100 million people in 23 embattled countries to worse levels of food shortage.