Over the last year, COVID-19 has undone the economic, health and food security of millions, pushing as many as 150 million people into extreme poverty.
While the health and economic impacts of the pandemic have been devastating, the rise in hunger has been one of its most tangible symptoms.
Income losses have translated into less money in people's pockets to buy food while market and supply disruptions due to movement restrictions have created local shortages and higher prices, especially for perishable food.
This reduced access to nutritious food will have negative impacts on the health and cognitive development of COVID-era children for years to come. Global food prices, as measured by a WB food price index, rose 14% last year.
Phone surveys conducted periodically by the WB in 45 countries show significant percentages of people running out of food or reducing their consumption. With the situation increasingly dire, the international community can take three key actions in 2021 to increase food security.