UPDATED 5:32 PM PT — Thursday, May 14, 2020
South Africa is facing a humanitarian crisis as its economy collapses under a coronavirus lockdowns. Thousands of residents are spending hours in lines to get food after losing their jobs amid the pandemic.
“These people are hungry, they are vulnerable: the poor, the destitute, the weak, the elderly,” said humanitarian coordinator Yusuf Abramjee.
The country’s unemployment rate stood at 27 percent before the pandemic, but is now above 30 percent.
“Civil society, together with the number of NGOs, we decided to return to the Spuit/Mooiplaas area,” stated Abramjee. “Today, 10,000 bags of maize meal, sanitizers, food hampers, masks are being distributed because these people are desperate.”
According to local authorities, the rising number of suicides across the country may surpass the total number of coronavirus victims in the coming days.