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COVID-19: Potential impact on the world’s poorest people. A WFP analysis of the economic and food security implications of the pandemic

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Nutrition / Food Systems
Gender / Youth / Social Inclusion
Market / Trade
Arif Husain, Chief Economist and Director of Research Assessment and Monitoring Division; Susanna Sandström, Head Economic and Market Unit; Friederike Greb, Economist Economic and Market Unit; Joachim Groder, Head of Analysis and Early Warning Unit; and Chiara Pallanch, Senior Analyst Analysis and Early Warning Unit
World Food Programme (WFP)

Today, more than 821 million people regularly go to bed hungry, of whom 100-plus million suffer from acute hunger, largely due to man-made conflicts, climate change and economic downturns.

These are the people who will experience the unthinkable due to the economic or logistical consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the depth and breadth of hunger will increase worldwide.

COVID-19 in rich and poor countries are two starkly different realities but connected by the thread of globalization and humanity. The only real hope for many is availability of affordable testing and treatment. But until then, just like in the rich countries where governments are undertaking extraordinary measure to protect their citizens, we must make sure that tens of millions of people already on the verge of starvation do not succumb to this virus or to its economic consequences.