(CNN)The coronavirus pandemic has already claimed over half a million lives across the world, with case numbers continuing to rise. A new report by Oxfam now warns that the hunger crisis worsened by the pandemic could potentially kill more people each day than the infection itself.
The hunger crisis linked to coronavirus could kill more people than the disease itself, Oxfam warns
An estimated 12,000 people per day could die from hunger linked to Covid-19 by the end of the year, Oxfam said. By comparison, data by Johns Hopkins University shows that the pandemic's deadliest day so far was April 17, when 8,890 deaths were recorded.
"The pandemic is the final straw for millions of people already struggling with the impacts of conflict, climate change, inequality and a broken food system that has impoverished millions of food producers and workers," Oxfam's Interim Executive Director Chema Vera said in a release.
Among the issues that have left many unable to put food on the table are lost income caused by unemployment or a reduction in remittance payments, the lack of social support for those who work in the informal economy, and disruptions to the supply chain and hurdles faced by producers.
Also contributing to the crisis are the travel restrictions related to lockdowns, which impact not just workers and farmers, but also the delivery of humanitarian aid.
These new challenges add themselves to long-standing issues worsening global hunger, including wars, climate change and rising inequality.
In its briefing, Oxfam calls out food and beverage industry titans like Coca-Cola, Unilever, General Mills among others.
"Meanwhile, those at the top are continuing to make a profit: eight of the biggest food and drink companies paid out over $18 billion to shareholders since January even as the pandemic was spreading across the globe ― ten times more than the UN says is needed to stop people going hungry," the release reads.
According to Oxfam, the coronavirus pandemic "has added fuel to the fire of an already growing hunger crisi