UN warns of a ‘Hunger Pandemic’

Hunger Pandemic, The Annual Global Report on Food Crises claims that famine in almost 35 countries is a deadly possibility. These countries, already on the brink of food disaster due to wars, natural disasters, internal strife, and economic crises, could face what World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley referred to as “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.”

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Director Beasley, in his address to the United Nations Security Council (arguably the UN’s most powerful body), pointed out that an additional 130 million people could be forced to live in starvation in 2020, in countries hit hardest by lack of tourism, production for exports and rapid collapse of oil prices, apart from general unemployment. Countries like Lebanon (already facing an economic crisis), Syria and Yemen (battlegrounds for a complex multinational conflict) and various East African s (hit by a swarm of crop-destroying locusts) are already in a position where most citizens are food insecure. Hunger Pandemic

Having himself only just recovered from COVID-19, Director Beasley expressed fear that 30 million people could die in a matter of months if the international community failed to support the World Food Program in these tough times, asking for an additional 1.9 bn USD in donations to supply and stockpile food for these at-risk countries, along with aid in distribution. This was a hard ask for the countries present, however, with most of them reeling under the burden of economic crises and rising death tolls within their own borders. With international aid wavering, the ability of millions of people to obtain two square meals a day remains uncertain.

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