Coe In The News

Activists protest against growing hunger in a land of plenty

Published October 19, 2020, by Admin

The NIDS-CRAM wave two report also showed how Covid-19 has massively exacerbated hunger.

This fact is exemplified by findings, published last week, by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) which launched the new Household Affordability Index (HAI) reporting food price data from from 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Springbok, and Pietermaritzburg.

On World Food Day 2020 civil society organisations were determined to raise awareness, create solutions, and educate society on the hunger epidemic which haunts South Africa. Across South Africa there were peaceful protests outside retail supermarkets, handing out pamphlets and hosting of educational workshops and webinars.

The Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), the Centre of Excellence in Food Security, and the C19 People’s Coalition Food Working Group hosted a virtual meeting on the right to food and equitable food systems. The event saw panellists debate and share recent and ongoing research on the devastating impacts of Covid-19, such as increased levels of hunger around the world, massive disruptions to the food system and loss of incomes to buy food.

In South Africa, the problem with the emergency response to the food crisis caused by the Covid-19 lockdown was that access was so uneven and unfair (as a result of corruption), but also that the content of the food was so poor: not nutritious and not supporting local food systems, says Professor Julian May, the director of the NRF-DST Centre of Excellence in Food Security at the University of the Western Cape (Food Security South Africa).

May warns that the next pandemic is “already under way: malnutrition among children not yet born.”


The next Covid impact will be evident in infant mortality and undernourishment in the coming year. We’re jeopardising a generation

Professor Julian May, Director, Centre of Excellence in Food Security

This is an abridged version of the article published by the Daily Maverick. Read the original article here 

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