As familys' incomes plummet, millions of children go hungry, are forced to work or beg

  • Estimated 85 million families across Asia may have little or no food stocks because of COVID-19 impacts
  • 110 million children in Asia facing hunger due to the pandemic
  • One in three Venezuelan migrant children goes to bed hungry

A report released today by aid agency World Vision said as many as eight million children in Asia alone could be exposed to harm through begging, child labour, and child marriage because parents cannot afford to buy enough food.1  

Out of Time warned that global predictions of increased child hunger, violence, and poverty due to the economic impact of COVID-19 were already starting to come true with an estimated 85 million families across Asia with little or no food stocks and 110 million children going hungry. 

“Our rapid assessments in countries across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia show that it’s clear we are on the cusp of a catastrophe for children,” explained Norbert Hsu, World Vision’s Partnership Leader for Global Impact, “and each assessment confirmed major disruptions in income, in the ability to buy sufficient food, and increases in risks to children as families struggle to cope. 

“It is often the most vulnerable families and their children who are hardest hit; those living in fragile countries already suffering from conflict, climate change, instability or displacement, and those who are relying on humanitarian assistance.”  

World Vision’s community-level data from 14,000 households in Asia, over 2,400 small business owners in Africa, and more than 360 Venezuelan migrants across Latin America confirms that projections by global agencies about the potential impact of the pandemic are already happening. For example, 84 per cent of Venezuelan migrants surveyed in Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela reported a significant drop in income. 

“More than 80 per cent of migrants we spoke to said food was scarce, to the extent that one in three Venezuelan migrant children goes to bed hungry. Our assessment in Africa also saw the majority of respondents, many of whom are women, spending less on healthy food to cope with losing their income,” said Mr Hsu. 

Out of Time outlines World Vision’s global call to action to governments, UN agencies, donors, NGOs, and the private sector to act together to scale up child sensitive social protection programmes; keep food and market systems going; protect jobs and livelihoods now; and invest in an inclusive, resilient and green economic recovery.   

“Without urgent action,” said Mr Hsu, “we risk an increase in extreme poverty and hunger not seen for decades.”  


For further information or to organise an interview, please contact 

Niamh Cooper | Director of Media and Social Media Engagement | | Skype: Niamh.cooper5 | Phone: +353 87 942 3371 

Notes to Editors 

  • 1These figures were extrapolated from the results of an early recovery rapid assessment of more than 14,000 households in World Vision programmes in nine countries across the Asia region. See the methodology in the report appendix for more information. 
  • You can read World Vision’s Aftershocks: Out of Time Report here 
  • World Vision’s #HiddenHero campaign will shed light throughout our response on those making a real, but unseen difference for the most vulnerable children facing the wrath of COVID-19 in their lives. 
  • World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision.