Almost half of South African families went hungry during COVID-19 lockdown: Study

Almost half of South African households went hungry final yr throughout the nationwide lockdown imposed as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, a examine has discovered.

The 2020 South African Child Gauge on Food and Nutrition Security for Children was launched in Cape Town on Thursday.

“Poverty, unemployment and hunger rose dramatically under hard COVID-19 related lockdown, with 47 per cent of households running out of money to buy food in May/June 2020, while child and adult hunger increased to 15 per cent and 22 per cent,” it stated.

The South African Child Gauge is revealed yearly by the Children’s Institute on the University of Cape Town to watch progress in direction of realising youngsters’s rights.

The examine additionally discovered that as the federal government launched caregiver and aid grants throughout the lockdown, the dearth of funds to buy meals decreased to 37 per cent by July/August 2020, which was nonetheless thought of to be a considerably larger degree of starvation and meals insecurity than pre-COVID-19 ranges.

This was exacerbated by the closure of faculties, the place many youngsters had been contributors in feeding schemes, forcing embattled mother and father to seek out methods of feeding them at residence.

“The extent and impact of maternal buffering (when mothers act as ‘shock absorbers’, deliberately limiting their own consumption to ensure that children have enough to eat) emerged as a coping strategy during the COVID-19 lockdown,” stated the report.

First Lady Tshepo Motsepe, who delivered the keynote tackle on the launch of the examine, made a plea for communities to do extra in combating malnutrition amongst youngsters.

“Long before the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, we as a country, have been acutely aware that a significant number of South Africans do not have access to sufficient food and go hungry on a daily basis,” Motsepe stated.

The unfavourable impacts that COVID-19 has had on family earnings and on costs of primary meals, paint a really dim image relating to any progress to addressing continual malnutrition of youngsters.

“We salute the efforts and initiatives that communities and civil society have embarked on to bring relief to the hungry,” she stated.

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