With schools closed during the Covid-19 pandemic, WFP is providing Take-Home Rations (THR) to ensure that pupils continue to study at home on a full stomach. Cameroon, 30 April 2020.
Photo: ©WFP/Glory Ndaka

WFP: Biggest humanitarian response in its history

The devastating socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic push millions more people into food insecurity in low- and middle-income countries.

There is a massive rise in the number of hungry people it plans to assist around the world, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned in June 2020.

To tackle the rising tide of hunger, WFP is undertaking the biggest humanitarian response in its history, ramping up the number of people it assists to some 138 million, from a record 97 million in 2019. 

Earlier WFP projections on the number of people who would be pushed into food insecurity by COVID-19 have now been refined with real-time monitoring and assessments. WFP’s new estimates show that the number of hungry in the countries where it operates could increase to 270 million before the year’s end - an 82 per cent increase from before the pandemic took hold. The crisis unfolds at a time when the number of severely food-insecure people in the world had already risen nearly 70 per cent over the past four years.

The fallout from the pandemic is being felt hardest in Latin America, which has seen an almost three-fold rise in the number of people requiring food assistance, and among urban communities in low- and middle-income countries, which are being dragged into destitution by job losses and a precipitous drop in remittances. Spikes in hunger are also evident in West and Central Africa which have seen a 135 per cent jump in the number of food-insecure people, as well as in Southern Africa where there has been a 90 per cent rise, according to WFP.

(WFP/ile)

Read more at WFP website