As per the latest report by Oxfam, 11 people die of hunger every minute around the globe. The number of people facing famine-like conditions worldwide has also increased six times in the last year.
Oxfam released a report titled "The Hunger Virus Multiplies" on Thursday, which said that more people have died due to famine than the COVID-19 virus. The report also noted that seven people are killed by famine every minute around the world.
Oxfam America's President and CEO Abby Maxman said that the report's statistical findings are staggering, and everyone must remember that they are not mere figures but actual individuals who are facing unimaginable suffering. "Even one person is too many," she said.
A Sharp Rise in Food Crisis Levels
The humanitarian group formed in 1995 also said that presently 155 million people worldwide live at a crisis level of food insecurity, which is 20 million more than last year. Around two-thirds of them are facing hunger because their country is in a military conflict.
Maxman said that more than 520,000 people have been pushed to the brink of starvation due to unrelenting conflict, pandemic-induced economic fallout, and a worsening climate crisis. Instead of fighting the pandemic together, warring parties fought each other, which only affected the millions of people suffering due to weather disasters and economic shocks. Oxfam also noted that even during the pandemic, military spending increased $51 billion globally, which is six times more than what U.N. needs to stop hunger.
According to The Hindu, the report listed Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen as "the worst hunger hotspots". All of these countries are caught up in conflict.
The president of Oxfam America said that starvation has continued to be used as a weapon of war, depriving civilians of food and water and impending humanitarian relief. She said that people could not live life or find food when market places were bombed, and crops and livestock were destroyed.
A Call For Support
The organization also urged governments to stop conflicts that continue to spawn "catastrophic hunger" and ensure that relief agencies could operate in conflict zones and reach the needy. Oxfam also asked the donor countries to give their full financial support to U.N.'s efforts to alleviate hunger.
The report by Oxfam noted that global warming along with the pandemic has caused a 40% rise in global food prices, the highest in over a decade. It has, in turn, pushed tens of millions of people into hunger.