Between the rise in prices boosted by the war in Ukraine, the still ongoing covid epidemic and growth inequalities, 250 million new people in the world could sink into extreme poverty this year.

A massive increase that would bring the total number of people living on less than $1.9 a day to 860 million, Oxfam warned in a report on Tuesday.

“The rise in world food prices alone will plunge 65 million people” into such destitution, which will be added to 198 million people hit by the pandemic and growing inequalities, explains the NGO fighting against poverty.

“Global crises cause misery”

With Russia and Ukraine the world's largest and fifth-largest wheat exporters, respectively, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported on Friday that world food prices hit their highest levels in March. never recorded.

“Multiple global crises are causing misery for millions of people” and a “Herculean response” is needed, says Katy Chakrabortty, an Oxfam official, who calls for debt cancellations for low-income countries and taxation of richer.

Governments have generally “failed to raise taxes on the richest”, while “the fortunes of billionaires have increased more since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic than during the previous 14 years”, deplores Oxfam.

Famines in East and West Africa, Yemen and Syria

According to the report, a series of governments are on the verge of defaulting on their debts and are being forced to cut public spending to pay their creditors and import food and fuel.

The poorest countries on the planet must therefore pay 43 billion dollars in debt repayment this year, which, according to the NGO, would be enough to cover the costs of their food imports.

“Millions of people are already suffering from severe famines in East and West Africa, in Yemen and in Syria”, continues Katy Chakrabortty.

“The number of undernourished people could reach 827 million this year.

"Rising food prices account for 17% of consumer spending in rich countries, but up to 40% in sub-Saharan Africa," Oxfam said.

But “even within rich economies, inflation amplifies inequality.

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  • World

  • Food

  • War in Ukraine

  • Covid-19

  • Poverty

  • Consumption

  • Inflation

  • epidemic

  • Famine

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