For a decade or so, global malnutrition has been declining, now it is rising. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is putting a lot of effort into it. We are talking about Africa, about the Middle East – said Rafał Grzelewski from the Polish Humanitarian Action on TVN24. He stressed that very strict restrictions were imposed in these regions in connection with the coronavirus, so humanitarian organizations have a problem to get food aid.
The pandemic has increased the level of malnutrition in the world. The situation is particularly worsening in Africa and the Middle East. Rafał Grzelewski from Polish Humanitarian Action on TVN24 emphasized that “this year the number of people who are malnourished and starving is growing”. – The bane of hunger is back again, because for about a decade this global level of malnutrition has been declining, now it is rising. Unfortunately, the pandemic puts a lot of effort into it, because we are talking about the world, about Africa, about the Middle East, where life is really fragile, it is very easy to turn it upside down – he stressed.
– There were also very strict restrictions, curfews, cut off cities, cut off roads, so humanitarian organizations, World Food Program, this year’s Nobel laureate, also the Polish Humanitarian Action, we had a problem to reach these people with food aid, with help of a different kind – he added. – Apart from climate change, apart from the fact that we have armed conflicts in the world, we have another very strong factor which means that the number of people starving this year may double – predicted Grzelewski.
“Coronavirus is called the hunger virus in the Middle East and Africa”
As PAH representative said, “the coronavirus is called the hunger virus in the Middle East and Africa.” – We are talking about the pandemic of hunger there due to these very strict restrictions, because there people most often work on day wages. The moment someone cannot go to work, they are cut off from all sources of income. Because there you get money after each day of work and this money is usually only enough for food, for the simplest meals – he explained.
– I will not forget the sight of the people who in Yemen ate leaves from shrubs, prepared such pulp in order to cheat hunger. It has no nutritional value. There, I talked to mothers who lost their milk, lost their food, precisely because of malnutrition, and gave their children rice water, which they considered a substitute for milk. It also has no nutritional value, it is not even rice milk – said Grzelewski.
He noted that “hunger has terrible consequences for children.” – In Yemen, a whole generation is emerging that will never reach its full potential (…). Unfortunately, these countries will be moving in the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger, he admitted.
He appealed to people who want to help for financial support for PAH’s activities. – We are able to help directly for money, we are able to purchase appropriate equipment and materials. We are able, for example, to buy plant seeds, distribute them to people, provide water, and thanks to that they are able to produce food for themselves, thanks to which they are also a little more independent – he said
Main photo source: PAH