Record hunger in the Philippines as COVID-19 restrictions bite

As Covid-19 restrictions have crippled the economy and thrown many out of work, charities are struggling to meet the ever-growing demand for food as millions of families go hungry across the country.

Jomar Fleras, executive director of Rise Against Hunger which works with more than 40 partners to feed the poor, said, “I’ve never seen hunger at this level before. If you go out there, everybody will tell you that they’re more afraid of dying from hunger than dying from Covid. They don’t care about Covid anymore.”

The number of people going hungry has reached a record high during the pandemic, according to pollster Social Weather Stations.

Nearly one-third of families — or 7.6 million households — did not have enough food to eat at least once in the previous three months, its September survey showed.

Among them were 2.2 million families experiencing “severe hunger” — the highest ever. The numbers have been going up since May.

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