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02.04.2020 | Press Release

"The Coronavirus will worsen the hunger crisis"

Welthungerhilfe provides over 500,000 euros of emergency aid.

Eine Frau hockt auf dem Boden und kocht.
As the global economy slides into recession as a result of the Corona crisis, this also has devastating consequences for the poorest, such as Edapul Ebei Nachuch from Kenya. The 35-year-old has 5 children, the youngest of whom is 8 months old. Here she cooks on the floor of her hut in the Turkana region, Kenya. © Welthungerhilfe
Simone Pott Team Communications

Bonn/Berlin, 02.04.2020. The spread of the Coronavirus in poor countries in Africa and Asia is not just a danger to health. Food can no longer be cultivated in sufficient quantities and supply chains are being interrupted. There is a threat of supply bottlenecks, and resulting hunger.

“If the global economy slides into a recession as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, this will also have devastating consequences for the poorest. Just a one percent decrease in economic growth means the number of people in poverty and hunger increases by two percent”, says Mathias Mogge, Secretary General of Welthungerhilfe. These are the latest calculations by the American research institute IFPRI. About 820 million people around the world are currently suffering from hunger. “People have already run out of reserves due to droughts or floods over recent years. In East Africa, a plague of locusts is also threatening harvests and animal feed. The consequences of the measures imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic are worsening the difficult nutrition situation and acting as an accelerator of the crisis. They will exacerbate the global hunger situation and destroy many livelihoods”, stresses Mathias Mogge.

In addition to essential short-term crisis responses, it is crucial to uphold long-term development measures and transform food systems.

To contain the Coronavirus crisis in its partner countries, Welthungerhilfe has made 500,000 euros available in the short term: Hygiene and health measures should help to prevent infections. Together with WASH United and with professional advice from an expert from the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, an educational package including a comic strip in more than 20 languages is being developed. Food is also being provided for people in quarantine who are in particular need. 

Poorer countries also need long-term support in combating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The donor community should use existing structures to help the poorest countries to react to the current crisis and to cushion the economic consequences.

This includes helping them to build up social security systems, and to transform the nutrition system, i.e. the way that we produce, trade and consume food, to make it more fair, sustainable, and crisis-resistant.

Secretary General Mathias Mogge and selected country directors (e.g. on the issue of the Coronavirus and locusts) are available for interviews upon request.

Press photos for download

Die von der indischen Regierung angekündigte landesweite Abriegelung führte zu einer unerwarteten, beispiellosen Massenflucht von Tageslöhnern aus vielen Großstädten und Städten in die Dörfer. Ohne Einkommensquelle und ohne Bargeld beschlossen diese Menschen, den ganzen Weg zurück in ihre Heimat zu laufen, Hunderte von Kilometern. Sie sind hungrig und müde, haben keine ausreichende Nahrung und trinkbares Wasser. Die Welthungerhilfe und ihre lokalen Partnerorganisationen helfen den Arbeitsmigrant*innen, die in großer Zahl durch Jhansi kommen. So werden eine Gemeinschaftsküche eingerichtet und täglich Lebensmittel- und Hygienepakete verteilt, die eine Seife, ein Handdesinfektionsmittel und eine Maske enthalten. © Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan/Welthungerhilfe
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Hygieneprogramm der Welthungerhilfe im Süden Äthiopiens. Die Schautafel verdeutlicht auch für Analphabeten, was man nicht oder auf jeden Fall machen sollte. © Stedtler/Welthungerhilfe
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Afrika, Kenia, Edapul Ebei Nachuch ist 35 Jahre alt und hat 5 Kinder, das Jüngste von ihnen ist 8 Monate alt, hier sieht man eine Kochdemonstration. © Welthungerhilfe
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SLE 1045 Health infrastructure construction to strengthen the preparedness in an Ebola affected country. Frauen waschen ihre Hände am tipi tap. Women washing their hands at tipi tap, a makeshift hand washing stand. © Kai Loeffelbein/ Welthungerhilfe
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Schulgarten der All Angels Schule. Junge aus dem Dorf auf dem abgeerntetes Maisfeld, der Ertrag hat stark unter der unnatürlichen Trockenheit gelitten. Aufgrund des Klimaphänomens El Nino (Dürre, Überflutungen) ist die Erdnuss und Maisernte des Schulgartens in diesem Jahr nahezu komplett ausgefallen. Ein künstliches Bewässerungssystem existiert nicht, obwohl der Malawisee nur wenige hundert Meter entfernt ist. © Rosenthal/Welthungerhilfe
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Mathias Mogge, Generalsekretär der Welthungerhilfe. © Barbara Frommann/ Welthungerhilfe
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Usage note: Please note that the pictures may only be used in a Welthungerhilfe context and may not be passed on to third parties. Images must bear the credit copyright "Photographer"/Welthungerhilfe. No long-term archiving. Please delete pictures after use!

Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany; politically independent and non-denominational. It is fighting for “Zero Hunger by 2030”. Since it was founded in 1962, more than 9,300 overseas projects in 70 countries have been supported with 3.71 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on the principle of empowering people to help themselves: from rapid disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organisations.

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