The coronavirus pandemic has tipped very many people throughout the world back into hunger. Do we have any more details about the impacts yet?
Christel Weller-Molongua: The numbers have risen considerably. In 2019, about 650 million people were suffering from hunger. By 2020, the number had risen to 690 million, and is expected to increase to about 810 million in 2021. So we are experiencing a serious setback in the fight against hunger.
Which regions are particularly hard hit?
Jochen Renger: Many areas of the world are affected, but the situation is particularly bad in sub-Saharan Africa. The numbers only tell part of the story, though, because there are real people in desperate circumstances behind the statistics. The situation is dramatic. According to our information, the quality of food is declining. Many people don’t have access to a varied diet. There is also less food available overall because the pandemic has disrupted supply chains. On top of that, a lot of people have lost their jobs, particularly day labourers. As a result, millions of people who were already living a precarious existence now suddenly face utter destitution. Another wave of infection would drag even more people down.