The last five years has added 60 million hungry people and the numbers are still growing every year with an increase of conflicts, economic crises and climate shocks. The World Bank statistics has projected that Covid 19 pandemic will push an additional 150 million people into extreme poverty by 2021.
A joint study by the World Food Programme and the International Organization for Migration on the impacts of COVID-19 said that about 690 million people are already undernourished. They represent about 8.9 percent of the world’s population. They pointed out that 135 million people in 55 countries were under acute hunger in 2019.
The study said that hunger was closely related to conflicts, economic crises and climate shocks. The report states that conflict, persecution and violence drove more than 79.5 million people away from their homes by 2019. This included 45.7 million Internally Displaced Persons, 4.2 million asylum seekers and 26 million refugees.
As per the study, the number of people displaced because of conflict and violence has been increasing consistently since 2011. About 23.3 million people are estimated to be displaced every year because of weather related events and natural disasters between 2010 and 2019.
Conflict, hunger, migration and displacements are intertwined
The study reveals that about 80 percent of the people displaced by conflict are in countries mostly affected by acute food insecurity and malnutrition. The World Food Programme in one its study maintained that food insecurity was a critical factor in migration.
Food insecurity is an outcome of migration. Most of the migrants will find it difficult to meet their food needs along migration route, especially when transiting or arriving in low or middle income countries.
Covid 19 has shattered the world economy. The low middle income countries are the worst hit and they would see further crisis in the coming years. The world has seen lock downs and severe restrictions that have pushed the economy badly.