Since 2014, the number of people affected by hunger across the globe has slowly been on the rise. Increasing conflict, economic crises and climate disasters have made accessing affordable, nutritious food a challenging task in some of the world’s poorest places. Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, projections indicated that the world was not on track to achieve Zero Hunger, one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, by 2030.
Now, the coronavirus pandemic has further disrupted food systems. For those who rely on farming to eat and earn a living, the economic decline has led to sharp increases in the cost of tools and seeds, while border closures and travel restrictions have reduced food supplies for countries dependent on imports and humanitarian aid.
These circumstances mean that many families are struggling to put food on the table, let alone meals with nutritious value. The World Food Programme projected that Covid-19 could push 265 million people into acute food insecurity by the end of last year, almost double 2019’s total. Among this number are hundreds of thousands of children, and pregnant and breastfeeding women - all of whom are significantly at risk of malnutrition.