The anti-poverty organization Oxfam said 11 people die of hunger every minute and confirmed that the number of people facing famine-like conditions worldwide has increased sixfold over the past year.
In a report titled “The Hunger Virus Is Reproducing,” Oxfam said Thursday that the death toll from famine is outpacing the death toll from COVID-19, which kills about seven people a minute.
“The statistics are staggering, but we must remember that these numbers are made up of individuals facing unimaginable suffering. Even one person is a very large number,” said Abby Maxman, President and CEO of Oxfam America.
The humanitarian organization also said 155 million people around the world are now living with crisis levels of food insecurity or worse – about 20 million more than last year. About two-thirds of them face starvation because their country is in military conflict.
“Today, the ongoing conflict, the economic fallout of COVID-19, and the worsening climate crisis have pushed more than 520,000 people to the brink of famine… Rather than fighting the pandemic, the warring parties have grappled with each other, often with the last blow against Millions who are already affected by weather disasters and economic shocks.
Despite the pandemic, Oxfam said global military spending has increased by $51 billion during the pandemic, an amount that is at least six times more than what the United Nations needs to stop hunger.