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COVID-19 – Potential Impact on the World’s Poorest People

WFP is on the front lines tackling the COVID-19 pandemic – working to maintain its food assistance that provides a critical lifeline to 87 million vulnerable people across the world, while providing expert logistics support to the multi-agency international response. WFP analysts constantly monitor markets, food prices and trends to provide actionable food security information.

Today, more than 821 million people regularly go to bed hungry, of whom 100-plus million suffer from acute hunger, largely due to man-made conflicts, climate change and economic downturns.

These are the people who will experience the unthinkable due to the economic or logistical consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the depth and breadth of hunger will increase worldwide. COVID-19 in rich and poor countries are two starkly different realities but connected by the thread of globalization and humanity. The only real hope for many is availability of affordable testing and treatment. But until then, just like in the rich countries where governments are undertaking extraordinary measure to protect their citizens, we must make sure that tens of millions of people already on the verge of starvation do not succumb to this virus or to its economic consequences.