Trócaire chief executive says hunger ‘the next pandemic the world is facing’

‘The next five months are going to be like nothing we have seen before’

“Millions of people who may have been earning less than $1 a day before the pandemic are now earning nothing at all.”  Photograph: Getty Images

“Millions of people who may have been earning less than $1 a day before the pandemic are now earning nothing at all.” Photograph: Getty Images

 

Trócaire has warned that over 270 million people around the world are facing a Christmas of hunger due to drought and Covid-19 restrictions.

It has pointed out that five regions of south Sudan were at risk of famine in coming months, while one in three people in Zimbabwe were facing a food crisis.

In Somalia over two million people needed urgent food aid, while in Syria Trócaire said after 10 years of war a record 9.3 million people were in need of food support.

Launching its Christmas appeal, the charity warned of a “hunger pandemic” facing the world over coming months. Covid-19 had “doubled the number of people around the world who are facing crisis levels of hunger. Lockdowns and restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the virus have contributed to an explosion in the hunger crisis,” it said.

Chief executive Caoimhe de Barra said “this year has seen a perfect storm that has left 270 million people facing crisis levels of food shortages. That is double the number of people needing immediate assistance this time last year.”

She said the impact of Covid-19 was “devastating for the world’s poorest people”.

“People haven’t been able to plant crops, sell goods at local markets or access school-feeding programmes. Millions of people who may have been earning less than $1 a day before the pandemic are now earning nothing at all.”

And although “people are incredibly resilient” she said that “the next five months are going to be like nothing we have seen before”,

Hunger was “the next pandemic the world is facing, only this time we know what the vaccine is. Support for Trócaire’s Christmas appeal will provide a lifeline to families this Christmas,” she said.

People can do so by visiting trocaire.org or calling 1850 408 408