LINCOLN, Neb., June 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recent article, the United Nations warns that an additional 130 million people could be on the brink of starvation by the end of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and its economic fallout. Even before this pandemic hit, 821 million individuals experienced chronic hunger while another 135 million were already struggling with acute starvation due to pre-existing crises.
"As the number of infections in vulnerable countries grows—among populations who are already malnourished, weak and vulnerable to disease—a 'crisis within a crisis' could emerge," said Dominique Burgeon, Director of Emergency and Resilience Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), during a recent interview.
In response to the worldwide lockdowns due to COVID-19, Love Justice International (LJI) has been distributing food to individuals in dire need of basic provisions. However, with quarantines in effect for more than 10 weeks and counting, the most vulnerable people around the globe are beginning to die from starvation.
Because of this desperate reality, Love Justice International is shifting the focus of their relief efforts from helping "those without food" to "those who are starving."
In the countries where they work, Love Justice partner staff will be finding people who have been going without food and are on the verge of starvation. In addition, if their team members find anyone who is showing signs of severe starvation, they will seek immediate medical attention for guidance and treatment.
The sobering reality is that those who were most vulnerable before this pandemic will continue to be hit the hardest even after the virus subsides and lockdowns are lifted. What is unfolding across many countries is a humanitarian crisis, where multitudes have little to eat and are forced to depend on the kindness and generosity of others to survive.
In Zimbabwe, for example, COVID-19 threatens to exacerbate the country's dire economic and hunger crises, drastically affecting the lives of people in both urban and rural areas. The number of Zimbabweans suffering from extreme hunger has risen to 4.3 million, from 3.8 million at the end of last year.
Over the last several weeks in Zimbabwe, LJI has been able to distribute food to almost 7,000 individuals to date—enough provisions to last a family an average of two weeks.
One beneficiary shared, "You watch the children and think that one day they will die due to starvation because there is literally nothing to give them except for water. I don't know what to say because of the assistance you've offered me and my children in order to survive. May the good Lord bless you and everyone who facilitated this food to get to me and my family."
While yet another stated, "I have had nights without food and it has been challenging, especially considering that I have five grandchildren and I am now old and I cannot work. What do I do with them? I did not know what to do with them."
An LJI partner staff member working in Zimbabwe stated, "The distribution of food is an emotional time with faces of people showing how desperate they are for food. There is a change of perspective of life that I have especially with regards to food security. It has been more fulfilling being an instrument of change to people and serving them."
This is just a glimpse into the lives being served in the 16 countries where LJI is currently providing food and supplies to those in desperate situations. However, the needs continue to become even more urgent as the lockdowns continue.
Love Justice created their COVID-19 Global Relief Effort to be able to meet this growing demand; for only $4, they are able to feed one person for a month—$15 feeds a family of four.
About Love Justice International: Love Justice International is dedicated to fighting the world's greatest injustices. In addition to fighting human trafficking and caring for orphaned and abandoned children, they are currently responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing essential food aid to individuals at risk of starvation. Learn more at LoveJustice.NGO.
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SOURCE Love Justice International