THE CONTEXT: The anti-poverty organization Oxfam says 11 people die of hunger each minute and that the number facing famine-like conditions around the globe has increased six times over the last year.
- In a report titled “The Hunger Virus Multiplies,” Oxfam said that the death toll from famine outpaces that of Covid-19, which kills around seven people per minute.
- The humanitarian group also said that 155 million people around the world now live at crisis levels of food insecurity or worse – some 20 million more than last year.
- Around two-thirds of them face hunger because their country is in military conflict.
- “Today, unrelenting conflict on top of the COVID-19 economic fallout, and a worsening climate crisis, has pushed more than 520,000 people to the brink of starvation,”
- “Instead of battling the pandemic, warring parties fought each other, too often landing the last blow to millions already battered by weather disasters and economic shocks.”
- Despite the pandemic, Oxfam said that global military spending increased by $51 billion during the pandemic – an amount that exceeds by at least six times what the U.N. needs to stop hunger
- Starvation continues to be used as a weapon of war, depriving civilians of food and water and impeding humanitarian relief.
- People can’t live safely or find food when their markets are being bombed and crops and livestock are destroyed,”
- The organization urged governments to stop conflicts from continuing to spawn “catastrophic hunger” and to ensure that relief agencies could operate in conflict zones and reach those in need.
- It also called on donor countries to “immediately and fully” fund the U.N.’s efforts to alleviate hunger.
- Founded in 1942, Oxfam is a non-profit organisation
- The Oxfam International Secretariat is based in Nairobi, Kenya
- Oxfam is a vibrant global movement of dedicated people fighting poverty – together.
- Oxfam fights poverty in three ways: Campaigning, Development and Emergency Response.
- Campaigning for change: Poverty isn’t just about lack of resources. In a wealthy world it’s about bad decisions made by powerful people. Oxfam campaigns hard, putting pressure on leaders for real lasting change.
- Development work: Poor people can take control, solve their own problems, and rely on themselves – with the right support. Fighting poverty, we fund long-term work worldwide.
- Emergency response: People need help in an emergency – fast. We save lives, swiftly delivering aid, support and protection; and we help people prepare for future crises
- Recently, the Inequality Virus Report and Global Inequality Crisis Report were released by Oxfam International.
- The reports have found that the Covid pandemic deeply increased the existing inequalities in India and around the world.