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COVID-19 exacerbated hunger among SA's children in 2020, report finds

The 2020 Child Gauge Report revealed that poverty, unemployment and hunger rose dramatically during lockdown.

FILE: Carnarvon Primary pupils make their way to the school kitchen. The school feeding scheme's efforts are to alleviate pupil's hunger. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - COVID-19 left nearly half of South Africa's mothers and children going hungry for parts of last year.

This was revealed in the 2020 Child Gauge Report, presented by the Children's Institute at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

The study revealed that poverty, unemployment and hunger rose dramatically during lockdown.

The report painted a grim picture as far as children and their nutrition are concerned in South Africa.

This year's theme is 'Slow Violence of Malnutrition'.

Researchers found that 47% of households ran out of money to buy food in May and June last year.

South Africa's first lady, Dr Tshepo Motsepe,, who was the keynote speaker at the launch, said ministers in government needed to step up.

"We need our ministers responsible for the food and nutrition security of the country to uphold the commitments of our Constitution. We need to strengthen the food safety that has nets for our children, including the national school nutrition programme."

Experts urged government and the private sector to come together to find solutions to address child hunger and malnutrition

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