COVID-19 could aggravate poverty and starvation, says UN

COVID-19 affects fragile countries by worsening poverty and starvation issues. The number of undernourished may increase by 83 million in 2020.

The top United Nations officials have stated that the rise of cases has increased discrimination and other human rights violations, which can have direct or indirect consequences on the already vulnerable economies.

According to The Hindu, United Nations’ political chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, and United Nations’ humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, informed the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday of the pandemic’s global impact that has severely impacted the world, with over 29 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 930,000 deaths.

The varying effects on the vulnerable countries

According to some of the previous reports, the ongoing pandemic crisis can aggravate economic and health issues, directly or indirectly, leading to higher poverty, starvation, lower life expectancy, and a higher rate of child deaths. It is said that roughly a third of the cases and fatalities are in countries affected by humanitarian or refugee crises or high vulnerability levels.

Moreover, the number of cases known or the impact of the coronavirus is not fully known because of the apprehensions of the people residing in vulnerable countries, fearing being sent to quarantine facilities or not being given proper treatment.

Correspondingly, even though the death rate may be lower, the whole COVID-19 situation’s indirect impact is more significant.

Pandemic is leading countries to economic instability

While the economies continue to suffer from the massive blow ever since the pandemic began, it has resulted in a lot of losses like approximately 320 billion dollars from global tourism and around 24 million children dropping out of schools this year.

United Nations Political Chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, says that the authorities around the world have not been transparent about the impact it has had on economies and livelihoods.

And for growing human rights challenges during the pandemic, DiCarlo noted increased discrimination, including access to health services, surging violence against women, particularly in the home during lockdowns, and increasing limitations on the media and freedom of expression.

The United Nations has stated that in 2019, around 10 million people were added to the world’s chronic hungry population with not enough food for them, the numbers which are said to be growing to 130 million this year because of the pandemic.

Moreover, preliminary projections based on available global economic outlooks suggest the pandemic may add 83 million to 132 million people to the undernourished number in 2020.

Image courtesy of StanislauV/Shutterstock

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