Global hunger and population displacement, which were already at record levels when Covid-19 struck, could “surge” as migrants and those reliant on a dwindling flow of remittances desperately seek work to support their families, a new UN report has warned.
In Populations at risk: Implications of Covid-19 for hunger, migration and displacement, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) urged the global community to step up support for the immediate and rising humanitarian needs, as well as addressing the pandemic’s fallout, especially on the most vulnerable, the UN said on Tuesday.David Beasley, Executive Director of WFP, said that the socio-economic impact of the pandemic is more devastating than the disease itself.
The report – the first of its kind – assessed the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic for people’s food security in major migration and hunger hotspots around the world. It revealed important linkages between the two, with food insecurity – especially when combined with conflict, being one of the main drivers for people to move.
The impact the pandemic has had on the ways people move is “unprecedented”, according to the two UN agencies.