A WFP plane drops food aid in South Sudan in February. Photo: Tony Karumba/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic is not only making it harder for people in developing countries to afford food, it's making it harder to get food and supplies into those countries in the first place.

Zoom in: The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) is tasked with filling many of those gaps, supplying food aid to 100 million people. Since late March, it has also been transporting health workers, medical supplies and other humanitarian cargo all over the world through its Humanitarian Air Service.

“At some point we ended up being the largest airline flying, in a way,” Amer Daoudi, who oversees logistics for WFP, tells Axios.

  • They’ve established regional hubs in Asia, Africa and Latin America. More than 120 countries are expecting supplies just in the next six weeks.
  • “Basically today, in many countries around the world, we’re the only game in town,” Daoudi says. That applies to getting supplies in, and getting evacuees out.
  • The supplies are provided at no cost to the local country — particularly important given the well-documented phenomenon of wealthier countries outbidding poorer ones for PPE and medical equipment.

There’s a problem. “By the third week of July, unless we urgently receive funding, we will have to suspend our services," Daoudi says.

  • He'll be sounding the alarm on Friday at the UN, calling on both donor countries and the private sector to step up.
  • “I keep warning, don't look at Europe easing up and think we have seen how bad the situation will get with this virus,” he says, noting that case counts are going up in the developing world.

What to watch: WFP director David Beasley, meanwhile, is warning of a possible "hunger pandemic," with famine spreading to up to 35 countries and the number of hungry people worldwide doubling.

  • The pandemic is deepening poverty, which breeds hunger, which leads to cycles of migration and instability.

Go deeper: South Asia emerges as a coronavirus hotspot

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 11,137,846 — Total deaths: 526,156 — Total recoveries — 6,003,824Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 2,809,108 — Total deaths: 129,509 — Total recoveries: 883,561 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: America's exceptionally uneventful Fourth of July ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.
2 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. has reached new highs in single-day coronavirus infections for three consecutive days this week, per data from Johns Hopkins and the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

Trump extends coronavirus PPP loan application deadline to August 8

President Trump boards Air Force One on July 3. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump signed off on Saturday to give businesses another five weeks to apply for funds through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Why it matters: Roughly $130 billion in PPP funding is still available. The Small Business Administration's inspector general found in May that some rural, minority and women-owned businesses may not have gotten loans due to a lack of prioritization from the agency.