Millions of people are being pushed towards hunger by the coronavirus pandemic, which could end up killing more people through lack of food than from the illness itself, Oxfam has warned.
Closed borders, curfews and travel restrictions have disrupted food supplies and incomes in already fragile countries, forcing an extra million people closer to famine in Afghanistan and heightening the humanitarian disaster in Yemen, where two-thirds already live in hunger.
Oxfam said that up to 12,000 people could die from hunger every day globally – 2,000 more than died from Covid-19 each day in April.
Along with Afghanistan, the charity identified Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Venezuela, the west African Sahel, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Haiti as extreme hunger hotspots.
Oxfam said countries with existing problems, such as South Sudan and Syria, were already seeing hunger worsen but there was also concern for middle-income countries such as India and Brazil.
Mass unemployment was affecting all countries, but informal labourers were suffering the most, often unable to travel to work.