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10.02.2021 | Blog

Survey: COVID-19 exacerbates hunger

The results of an Alliance2015 survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic of the Global South are sobering: Nine out of ten respondents are poorer as a result of the coronavirus crisis, and four out of ten have less access to food than before. The progress made in development over recent decades is in jeopardy.

Ein Mann mit Mundschutz, er hält ein Baby auf dem Arm.
For people in countries in the Global South, the coronavirus crisis has had a devastating impact, such as in a slum near Delhi in India, where thousands of day labourers and migrant workers have lost their income after a nationwide lockdown. © Florian Lang/Welthungerhilfe
Kerstin Bandsom Team Communications

A survey conducted by Alliance2015 in 25 Global South countries confirms fears: Nearly one in two people surveyed say the quality of their food has declined significantly. Forty-two percent say the quantity of food has also declined – they have less to eat today than before the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes families who were already unable to feed themselves adequately before the pandemic.

Hunger is increasing due to the pandemic

Nine out of ten people surveyed in Kenya say food quality has deteriorated since the COVID-19 pandemic began. © Welthungerhilfe
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Four out of ten people in surveyed in project regions in the Global South have reduced access to food due to the COVID-19 pandemic. © Welthungerhilfe
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The situation is particularly dramatic in sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya, nine out of ten people surveyed say the quality of their food is now worse. In projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, over 80% say there is less food available. The impact of the pandemic on nutrition is also clearly noticeable in projects in Ecuador, Haiti and Afghanistan.

Many people are slipping into absolute poverty due to the coronavirus crisis

Infographic with text: #PostCovidResilience – The world with Coronavirus. 98% of people in Afghanistan have significantly worse chances of finding work since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
98% of the respondents in Afghanistan have had significantly worse chances of finding work since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. © Welthungerhilfe

Ninety percent of respondents earn less money today than before the pandemic. Day labourers are the most affected, as there are simply no job opportunities, or their wages are not being paid. But traders and farmers also reported that their incomes have fallen – because customers were staying away, or people can no longer afford the products.

Infographic with the text: #PostCovidResilience - The World with Coronavirus. Nine out of ten people in countries in the Global South have less money to live on today than before the COVID-19 pandemic because incomes have been lost.
Nine out of ten people surveyed in project regions in the Global South have less money to live on due to the COVID-19 pandemic. © Welthungerhilfe

The study: COVID-19 & Community Resilience

The loss of income is having devastating consequences, because these shortfalls are not compensated for by social security in many countries of the Global South. For poorer people, the loss of work means that they can no longer feed themselves and their families – and are therefore going hungry.

Children have poorer access to education

Education is a gateway out of poverty – but this prospect of a better future is in jeopardy for many children of the Global South: in two out of three families who responded to the survey, children have significantly poorer access to education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Liberia, for example, only one in ten families surveyed can send their children to school as regularly as before the outbreak of coronavirus. Combined with the desperate financial situation in which many families currently find themselves, the risk of child labour and forced marriage is also increasing.

Education in the age of Coronavirus: children in two out of three households surveyed in project regions of the Global South have significantly poorer access to education. © Welthungerhilfe
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Only one in ten families surveyed in Liberia can still send their children to school as regularly as before the COVID-19 pandemic. © Welthungerhilfe
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Alliance2015 COVID-19 Multi Country Survey

A shocking 46% of women and 37% of men reported that they and their families were consuming less food of poorer quality.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents enormous challenges

In addition, there is the psychological burden of the coronavirus crisis: 80% of the respondents say they are more worried than before, 78% of women stated they are feeling sadder now.

With the challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, many are reaching their limits: While the majority of respondents are well informed about COVID protective measures, more than a third cannot comply with hygiene measures because they do not have access to clean water, soap and masks.

Infographic with text: #PostCovidResilience - The World with Coronavirus. Challenges in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for people in countries in the Global South.
The challenges in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic are manifold: for example, many people live in overly cramped living spaces where maintaining physical distance is simply not possible. © Welthungerhilfe

Almost a quarter of respondents say they cannot keep their distance from other people because of their living conditions in refugee camps, slums, or very cramped and small housing. In addition, crowded places like markets cannot be avoided.

Providing assistance – hygiene and food

Ein Mädchen bedeckt ihren Mund und Nase mit einem Tuch. Sie hält einen Teller mit Essen in der Hand. Global crisis: Coronavirus

How we help people currently suffering from hunger as a result of the pandemic.

Welthungerhilfe is supporting people in Global South countries to protect themselves and others from coronavirus: We are installing hygiene facilities in public places and securing the supply of running water, soap, masks and disinfectants. Among other things, we distribute food and cash to households that are already struggling to adequately feed themselves.

The Alliance2015 survey confirms: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is having dramatic economic and social consequences for the people of the Global South. Without social security, millions of people could slip into absolute poverty and no longer be able to feed themselves and their families. We support the people who are hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis. Help us in our mission – every euro donated contributes to essential assistance across the globe.

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Last Update 11.02.2021

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