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UN warns global hunger could almost double because of coronavirus

The UN warns that the coronavirus could lead to almost double the number of people currently suffering hunger meaning that 265 million people will be identified as suffering from “Acute food and livelihood crisis”.

The “acute food and livelihood crisis” is defined by the UN as “critical lack of food access and above usual malnutrition”. This is the third category out of five with the fifth being mass starvation. The UN warns that this starvation is driven by the economic havoc that the coronavirus has caused; it will likely hit the Global South, with Africa in particular, the hardest.

The economic damage caused by the virus is part due to the collapse in tourism to these countries. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) maintains a need to raise $10-$12bn to fund assistance programmes to protect the most vulnerable. Last year only $8.3 bn was raised.

Al Jazeera reports that currently, 135 million people across 55 countries suffer from acute food crises or outright humanitarian emergencies last year.

Read more from Al Jazeera.