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COVID-19: Malteser International warns of looming hunger crisis

The situation of many Venezuelan refugees living in Colombia has been worsened by the consequences of the Corona pandemic. Together with our partner organization ABIUEDA we have distributed food packages to 1,000 people in need. Photo: ABIUEDA/Malteser International

Cologne. Malteser International has warned that the impact of the coronavirus emergency could increase the number of severely hungry people around the world in the coming months. “The COVID-19 pandemic and measures put in place to control its spread is pushing millions of people to the brink of starvation,” said Ingo Radtke, Secretary General of Malteser International.

“Many people in the countries where we work are daily wagers who have lost their income sources because of government-imposed restrictions. Many of them are now threatened by hunger. Farmers have not been able to grow or sell crops. Restrictions have also affected agricultural production and triggered shortages which have led to an increase in the prices of food items. As schools in South Sudan close, some 2,000 children who depend on the meal they get in school as part of our school feeding program will be facing devastating nutritional and health consequences. We must act now to avert a hunger catastrophe by ensuring that vulnerable people are provided with essentials commodities.”

A recent World Food Programme (WFP) report reveals that some 265 million– a figure twice as high as last year – could be dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their food needs by the end of 2020.

"In almost all of our 28 project countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, lockdown measures have meant even more suffering for the vulnerable populations,” said Radtke. “We have already provided emergency food packages to 1,000 Venezuelan refugees in Colombia and 3,600 households in Pakistan.”

Malteser International is urgently appealing for donations in order to meet the immediate needs of people who have lost their livelihoods in the coronavirus emergency. “In this global crisis, we must stand in solidarity with people who have little or no safety net to survive the impact,” said Radtke.

Note to editors: 
Ingo Radtke, Malteser International's Secretary General, is available for interviews.

Press Contact: 
Katharina Kiecol
Tel.: +49 (0)221 96441 181
katharina.kiecol(at)malteser-international.org

 

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Katharina Kiecol
+49-(0)221-96441-181
Email: katharina.kiecol(at)malteser-international.org

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