Later will be too late

How extreme levels of hunger have not been averted despite alarms

Publication date: 13 October 2020
Authors: Pauline Chetcuti , Marc Cohen, Emily Farr, Mathew Truscott

In July 2020 Oxfam warned that by the end of this year more people could die from hunger related to the COVID-19 pandemic than from the disease itself. But the response of the  international community to global food insecurity has been dangerously inadequate. 

The threat of 'COVID famines' and widespread extreme hunger is setting off alarm bells in the  international community – but so far, sluggish funding is hampering the efforts of humanitarian agencies to deliver urgent assistance to people in need. More than 55 million people in the seven worst-affected countries are facing severe-to-extreme levels of food insecurity, some approaching famine-like conditions.  

Oxfam is raising the alarm that famine is imminent and not enough is yet being done to stop this hunger crisis. It is also calling for urgent action to build a fairer and more sustainable food system. Years of neglect mean that millions of people remain unnecessarily vulnerable to shocks like COVID-19, climate change and conflict.