Humanitarian organisation Oxfam, in a new report, slammed the global response to food insecurity, saying it has been “dangerously inadequate”.
The report, titled “Later Will Be Too Late”, states that in five countries — Yemen, DRC, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Somalia — where severe hunger continues to increase, donors have not donated any money for the “COVID-related nutrition assistance” part of the United Nation’s $10.34 billion humanitarian appeal launched in March.
It adds that more than 55 million people in the seven worst-affected countries, which include the five named as well Afghanistan and South Sudan, face severe-to-extreme levels of food insecurity.
“There are now famine-like conditions in some parts of South Sudan and Burkina Faso,” Oxfam states, while hunger levels in Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are “worse than in 2017.”
“Three years ago, following an extraordinary food crisis, the international community rallied in the promise we would never see these levels of hunger again,” said Oxfam International’s Interim Executive director, Chema Vera. “And yet here we are again, with relative indifference.”
The UN has divided its humanitarian appeal into “COVID” and “non-COVID”-related needs.
“2020 is a perfect storm – we know that – but our primary aim must surely be to help keep people alive,” Vera said.
Oxfam also added that in July it had warned the world of more people dying from COVID-related hunger than from the disease itself.