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Washington, D.C. – Today, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) released a report outlining the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted that the number of people facing extreme hunger could double unless swift action is taken. Currently, 135 million people globally face extreme hunger, what the WFP and others call “acute food insecurity.” That number could soar to 265 million by the end of 2020. Ambassador David Beasley, executive director of the WFP, this morning urged the United Nations Security Council to take action.
“Beasley confirmed what we have been warning – the COVID-19 health crisis is becoming a global hunger and humanitarian crisis,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “The U.S. must join with other countries around the world to respond to this global pandemic and its economic fall-out.
Bread for the World is urging Congress to expand health and humanitarian programs, strengthen the global food supply chain and social protection programs, and allow U.S. funded school feeding programs around the world to serve children while schools are closed.
As many as 370 million children are not receiving nutritious school meals, reducing their resistance to illness. “Better nutrition for mothers and children is more important than ever,” said Beckmann.
“Now is the time to heed God’s call to care for the ‘least among us’ (Matthew 25:40). The world has made dramatic progress against hunger in recent decades. But progress has stalled in recent years, and hunger is now surging all over the world,” added Beckmann. “Congress must address this crisis by increasing SNAP food assistance in the U.S. and international aid to help developing countries cope with COVID-19 and its economic consequences.”
These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C.
Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition in the fiscal year 2020 budget.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.