The coronavirus pandemic continues to tighten its grip on 185 countries all over the world creating the world’s biggest health crisis. Amid this situation, the United Nations warns that the world is on the brink of a “hunger pandemic”. It further warns if countries don’t act now to avoid funding shortfalls and disruptions to trade, the nations could face multiple food shortages and disruptions within a few months.
The new strain of coronavirus, which is believed to have originated at a market in Wuhan has so far infected over 2,565,290 people and claimed more than 177,770 lives.
On Tuesday, David Beasley, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) was speaking at a virtual session of the UN Security Council on the ”Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Protecting Civilians Affected by Conflict-Induced Hunger”. He said, “While dealing with a COVID-19 pandemic, we are also on the brink of a hunger pandemic,”
“There are no famines yet. But I must warn you that if we don’t prepare and act now — to secure access, avoid funding shortfalls and disruptions to trade — we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months,” he said.
The world not only faces a global health pandemic but also a global humanitarian catastrophe due to the COVID-19, says David Beasley. He mentioned that about 821 million people go to bed chronically hungry every night all over the world.
“If we can’t reach these people with the life-saving assistance they need, our analysis shows that 300,000 people could starve to death every single day over a three-month period. This does not include the increase of starvation due to COVID-19,” David Beasley said.
In the conference, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Qu Dongyu also underlined how the latest food crisis report is directly related to food insecurity. Qu cited Yemen as the nation that is facing the world”s worst food and malnutrition crisis this year. The FAQ chief further stressed the importance of early warning and quick action to pre-empt food insecurity caused by conflicts.