A mother holds her malnourished 22-month-old daughter in her arms.
The photo was taken in a medical treatment tent in northern Ethiopia
Photo: Ben Curtis / AP
Food shortages in many parts of the world have worsened dramatically in the past few months due to a combination of factors.
This is reported by the aid organization Oxfam in its latest report.
Among other things, she compared how many people around the world suffer from severe hunger.
From the end of 2019 (i.e. before the start of the corona pandemic) to June 2021, this number has increased almost six-fold: from 84,500 to 521,814 people.
In addition to the corona pandemic, according to Oxfam, conflicts and climate change are primarily responsible for this development.
"We are currently experiencing an overlapping of crises: incessant conflict, the economic consequences of Covid-19 and a climate crisis that is spiraling out of control," said Hélène Botreau, food security and agriculture advisor at Oxfam France.
According to the report, eleven people die every minute as a result of hunger and malnutrition. A total of 155 million people are affected by food shortages, an increase of 20 million compared to the previous year. That corresponds to "the population of France, Germany and Belgium together." In the report, Oxfam differentiates between different levels of urgency, from food shortages to severe hunger.
Conflicts and wars therefore remain the main cause of famine.
Two out of three starving people live in countries where there is war.
Added to this are the "massive effects" of economic shocks, "exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic".
"Mass unemployment and disrupted food production have led to a 40 percent increase in world food prices, the highest increase in over a decade," Oxfam said.
The countries worst hit by food shortages include Oxfam Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Madagascar, Syria and Yemen.
aar / AFP