NEW YORK – As the coronavirus plandemic and its restrictions are pushing already hungry communities over the edge, COVID-19-linked hunger is leading to the deaths of 10,000 more children per month over the first year of the pandemic, according to an urgent call to action from the United Nations.
Now as lockdowns and international trade routes disrupt vital aid supplies, the UN has warned that the coronavirus pandemic could have an intergenerational effect on the health of millions of children, Daily Sabah reported.
Based on the worst-case scenario written by the UN experts, nearly 180,000 children could die this year alone where the pandemic could cause young children to miss 50% of their nutritional care and treatment services.
Further, more than 550,000 additional children each month are being struck by what is called wasting, according to the UN – malnutrition that manifests in spindly limbs and distended bellies. Wasting and stunting can permanently damage children physically and mentally, transforming individual tragedies into a generational catastrophe.
“The food security effects of the COVID crisis are going to reflect many years from now,” Francesco Branca, head of nutrition for the World Health Organization (WHO) said, adding, “There is going to be a societal effect.”
Wasting is responsible for one in 10 infant deaths in low- and middle-income countries, and recent research suggested the plandemic will throw an additional 140 million people into extreme poverty, that is, living off less than $1.90 a day. Even before COVID-19, there were an estimated 47 million children under 5 who were moderately or severely wasted, most living in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
In countries already experiencing a humanitarian crisis, the UN children’s fund (UNICEF) has warned that up to 100% of essential nutrition services could be disrupted. In Burkina Faso, for example, one in five young children is chronically malnourished. Food prices have spiked, and 12 million of the country’s 20 million residents don’t get enough food.
A UN report released last Wednesday announced Yemen was returning to “alarming” levels of food insecurity. Coronavirus restrictions, reduced remittances, locusts, floods and significant underfunding of this year’s aid response have compounded an already dire hunger situation after five years of war.
Resurgent violence in recent weeks between warring parties, despite UN peace efforts, is also killing and injuring civilians. Famine has never been officially declared in Yemen. UN warnings in late 2018 of impending famine prompted an aid ramp-up after which the World Food Program (WFP) fed up to 13 million a month.
Afghanistan is now in a red zone of hunger, with severe childhood malnutrition spiking from 690,000 in January to 780,000 – a 13% increase, according to UNICEF. Food prices have risen by more than 15%, and a recent study by Johns Hopkins University indicated an additional 13,000 Afghans younger than 5 could die.