The pandemic pushes hundreds of millions of people toward starvation and poverty

Financiers and traders on Wall Street may be starting to feel optimistic, but for most people the gloom is only deepening. In the United States, thousands of people continue to die of covid-19 each week, while some 30 million people remain unemployed. Industrial output and consumer spending are still well below pre-pandemic levels, with experts pointing to evidence of spiraling inequality as winter approaches. In Europe, a second surge of infections has triggered warnings and shutdowns, compounding the continent’s economic jitters.”

“David Beasley, the executive director of the U.N.’s World Food Program, warned during a Sept. 18 briefing that a “wave of hunger and famine still threatens to sweep across the globe.” He said his organization needed close to $5 billion to prevent 30 million people from dying of starvation. According to the agency, some 135 million people around the world faced acute food insecurity before the pandemic, and that number is expected to double this year.”

“The World Bank says the pandemic may undermine international efforts to bring down the global extreme poverty rate to 3 percent by 2030 — and projects that existing poverty levels will grow this year for the first time since the 1990s. Some 160 million people in Asia alone may be forced below the poverty line, according to the Asian Development Bank. In Latin America, that figure is around 45 million people, according to a recent U.N. study.”

“UNICEF, the U.N. Children’s Fund, calculated that 872 million students in 51 countries are unable to head back to their classrooms. More than half that number live in circumstances where remote learning is impossible — a scale that suggests a generational crisis in education.”