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The effect of Covid-19 on the food system: 'The cost of feeding a child increased by 5%'

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"The novel coronavirus does not discriminate but still does not treat us equally." (Christine Jerian/EyeEm/Getty Images)
"The novel coronavirus does not discriminate but still does not treat us equally." (Christine Jerian/EyeEm/Getty Images)

In South Africa, more than nine million children live in food-insecure households, and according to findings of a local survey, South Africans count the fear of food shortages and loss of income a close second to the fear of contracting the coronavirus.

"The novel coronavirus does not discriminate but still does not treat us equally. Individuals with weaker immune systems and limited resources are left more vulnerable in the fight against this invisible killer," says Professor Hettie Schönfeldt, director of the University of Pretoria-based African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence for Food Security

Already thwarted by high rates of stunting ("from 21% in 2008 to 27% in 2016") - a result of protracted food insecurity - Professor Schönfeldt believes SA's youngest face the harshest impact of hunger and malnutrition during the pandemic.

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