As the nations of the world seek to find ways to reopen locked down economies, millions of people are bracing for the largest threat of the COVID-19 pandemic – starvation.
In countries like Bangladesh already ravaged by poverty, it’s becoming all too apparent that more people could potentially die from the economic impact of COVID-19 than from the virus itself. Reports from the UN World Food Program and other organizations show that 265 million people worldwide are at risk for starvation caused by the coronavirus pandemic – doubling estimates from earlier this year. The World Bank estimates that global poverty will rise for the first time since 1990, pushing over 8% of the world’s population into poverty through mass unemployment and lockdowns to contain COVID-19.
Countries like Bangladesh face some of the worst economic conditions of countries that now face starvation. Throughout the pandemic and shutdowns to contain it, incomes in Bangladesh have dropped 80% – crippling both rural and urban areas. Over 2.2 million garment workers have already lost their jobs, additionally affecting around 15 million people reliant on the industry.