The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world employment order.
The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating. Tens of millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty, while the number of undernourished people, currently estimated at nearly 690 million could increase by up to 132 million by the end of the year (2021).
Here, an estimated 6.2 million Kenyans are facing food shortage.
They are either in a stressed crisis or need emergency food to stop starvation. The number of people who cannot access or afford safe nutritious food before the pandemic struck is even higher.
Besides hunger, millions of enterprises face an existential threat. Nearly half of the world’s 3.3 billion global workforces is at risk of losing their livelihoods.
The pandemic has rendered millions jobless placing livelihoods at risk. As breadwinners lose jobs, fall ill, or die, the food security and nutrition of millions of women and men are under threat.
Informal economy workers are particularly vulnerable because the majority lack social protection and access to quality health care and have lost access to productive assets.
Without the means to earn an income during lockdowns, many are unable to feed themselves and their families. I feel that the fight against this disease has not been given the seriousness it deserves, world leaders should consider having a vaccine manufacturing centre in Africa to reduce the time the drug needs to reach people.
The writer Dr. Swarup Kiprop Mishra is the MP Kesses Constituency and owner of Mediheal Group of Hospitals