‘Hunger pandemic’ threatens 270 million people this Christmas warns Laois charity worker

Leinster Express Reporter

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trocaire

Trocaire's under-5's nutrition programme in Somalia.

Over 270 million people around the world are facing into a Christmas of hunger due to the joint effects of drought and Covid-19 restrictions, Declan Dixon from Kilcavan, who works for overseas development charity Trócaire, has warned.

Declan said that a ‘hunger pandemic’ was facing the world over the coming months as Trócaire launched its Christmas Appeal to support people in some of the world’s poorest countries over the coming months. He urged people in Co. Laois to do what they can to support the call for donations.

“The Covid-19 crisis has doubled the number of people around the world who are facing crisis levels of hunger. Lockdowns and restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the virus have contributed in a variety of ways to an explosion in the hunger crisis.

“People have had no way to earn an income and do not have access to any social welfare safety net. Local markets were closed for a prolonged period meaning farmers could not sell their goods. Border closures have led to a shortage of key materials including seeds and the price of these materials has increased as a result. School closures have meant that millions of children have not been able to access school feeding programmes they rely on. More below picture.

“The impact of Covid-19 has been really felt here at home but has also been devastating for the world’s poorest people. People haven’t been able to plant crops, sell goods at local markets or access school feeding programmes. Millions of people who may have been earning less than $1 a day before the pandemic are now earning nothing at all.

“People are incredibly resilient. In countries like Somalia, people have overcome decades of conflict and worsening drought. They are experts at surviving crises not of their making, but with the next harvest not due until April at the earliest, people need urgent support. The next five months are going to be like nothing we have seen before,” Declan said.

“Hunger is the next pandemic the world is facing, only this time we know what the vaccine is. Support for Trócaire’s Christmas Appeal in Co. Laois will provide a lifeline to thousands of families this Christmas.”

To donate to Trócaire’s Christmas Appeal, visit trocaire.org or call 1850 408 408.