Dr Ryan explained that the global pandemic has not only decelerated progress towards SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), but it also risks undoing previous gains.
“COVID-19 has laid bare and amplified systemic inequities and vulnerabilities that go far beyond health,” Dr Ryan said.
“We are still in the process of evaluating the full impact of this ongoing global pandemic on our socio-economic system but early assessments estimate that another 83 million people, and possibly as many as 132 million, may go hungry in 2020 as a result of the economic recession triggered by COVID-19.
“The effects are likely to be the highest in low-income countries and middle-income countries, and countries in conflict and with the highest poverty levels and largest vulnerable populations will be most affected.”
The pandemic has worsened the food situation for those most in need, while also revealing the extent of the hunger emergency. A lack of access to health services, now exacerbated by this outbreak, has left billions of people, including many in rich countries, without reliable and affordable access to essential health services.
“The pandemic has highlighted and exploited the inequalities within and between countries and has served as a profound revealer. It is revealing that we have built fragile food systems that put healthy diets out of the reach of millions and that we have created essential health services, which many communities cannot access or afford,” Dr Ryan said.