11 People are Likely Dying Every Minute from Hunger, Now Outpacing COVID-19 Fatalities

The Hunger Virus Multiplies

Fatimata lives in a family with her mother-in-law, co-wife and 16 children.  Fatimata used to go from house to house, offering household services to local families. When COVID-19 struck, she was told to stay home and lost her income. Credit: Amadou Cisse/ Oxfam
Paper publication date: 
Friday 09 July 2021

A year and a half since the pandemic began, deaths from hunger are outpacing the virus. Ongoing conflict, combined with the economic disruptions of the pandemic and an escalating climate crisis, has deepened poverty and catastrophic food insecurity in the world’s hunger hotspots. 

A new Oxfam report released today shows that the West African Sahel region –Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal -is seeing a staggering 67% surge in hunger, continuing to be one of the fastest growing hunger crises in the world. In a new report released today by Oxfam, the Sahel region of West Africa is experiencing an alarming 67 percent increase in hunger, making it one of the most severe hunger crises in the world. Since Oxfam's last report "The Hunger Virus" in July 2020, the number of people in food crisis has passed the 15 million mark, and this number is expected to exceed 22 million during the upcoming lean season. Armed conflict remains the leading cause of displacement and hunger in the region. Yet, despite the need to allocate resources to address the food crisis, budgets continue to be allocated to military spending.