Impact of COVID-19 on Hunger

COVID-19 struck the world in 2019 and since then it has spread across the world, causing widespread illnesses, infections and deaths. The main response of most of the countries in the world has been to restrict the movement of people and enforce lockdowns as well as social distancing norms.

The result of the forced lockdowns in most developing countries of the world has been negative and often catastrophic. There have been job losses and the economies have been at a standstill. Multiple people fell into poverty and poorer standards of living, education and health have also come up.

Food Insecurity due to COVID

In addition to being a health crisis, COVID-19 has also shown itself as a crisis of livelihood, rapidly developing into a disaster of famine and malnutrition.

Vulnerable households in practically every nation have seen the impact of the pandemic-induced surge in global food insecurity. It has made already existent inequities worse, trapping millions of people in a vicious cycle of job loss, economic stagnation, and growing food insecurity.

The pandemic has caused 71 million people worldwide to fall into extreme poverty, according to the World Bank. There may be 130 million more individuals who meet the criteria for “food insecurity,” according to the World Food Programme.

India’s Ranking in The World

India ranks 94th out of 107 countries in the 2020 Global Hunger Index. The outbreak and the unemployment associated with the pandemic have worsened India’s food situation. 

Alarming findings from the First Phase of the National Family Health Survey (2019–2020) indicate that there may be an increase in the number of underweight as well as severely wasted children under the age of five in as many as 16 states. 

The pandemic is turning into a nutrition crisis as a result of overburdened healthcare facilities, changing eating patterns, and economic loss in addition to the suspension of programmes like the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and the mid-day meal.

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