Wills Point, USA – ANS – The leader of a major faith-based humanitarian agency has warned that a new COVID-19 surge could cause catastrophic starvation in poor nations.
Widespread hunger across Asia caused by the pandemic is proving to be “worse than the disease itself,” said K.P. Yohannan, president of Gospel for Asia (GFA World, www.gfa.org).
Yohannan’s warning comes as some countries face a “second wave” of COVID-19 infections, increasing fears of mass starvation as people are unable to go to work.
“For hundreds of millions living in Asia, the threat of starvation is more dangerous than the disease,” he said. “According to the U.N., virus-linked hunger is leading to the deaths of 10,000 more children every month.”
Starving ‘Before Their Eyes’
The missions leader and author of Never Give Up said many parents in Asia are watching their children “starving to death before their eyes.”
Massive numbers of day laborers — the poorest of the poor — are especially vulnerable, along with the legions of children who beg on the streets of Asia’s megacities.
“Many, surprisingly, do not fear the virus; they fear the hunger that will come,” said Yohannan, whose Texas-based organization has helped feed nearly 200,000 people since the pandemic began.
160 Million Could ‘Plunge Deeper Into Poverty’
A resurgence of COVID-19 “could push (up to) 160 million people deeper into poverty and hunger,” he said. “As followers of Jesus we need to think deeply about what we can do to help.”
“It’s so easy for us to get caught up in COVID-19 anxiety and overlook the problems that existed before the pandemic,” Yohannan said. “But these problems — such as starvation and homelessness — have only become greater.”
Across Asia — the world’s most populated continent, home to six out of every 10 people on earth — GFA World workers are handing out rice, cooking oil and other food items to help stave off hunger for thousands.
“This is sometimes the only food they’ll get in three days,” Yohannan said. “When people see they’re not alone, that there are others willing to give so that they may live, it gives them hope and shows them that God really cares about them.”
GFA World asked for prayer for its workers and for “those who are facing this crisis, as we seek to do all we can to help.”