Countries around the world are at risk of widespread famines “of biblical proportions” if coronavirus continues to bite, the United Nations (UN) has alerted.
The novel coronavirus has claimed more than 175,000 lives and affected 2.5million people worldwide. On Tuesday, David Beasley, Head of the World Food Programme (WFP), called for an urgent action. The number suffering from hunger could almost double from 135m to more than 250m. WFP added that the 10 nations are currently affected by conflict, economic crisis and climate change.
The Global Report on Food Crises listed them as Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Nigeria and Haiti. Beasely told the UN Security Council, during a video conference, the world has to “act wisely and act fast”.
“We could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months. The truth is we do not have time on our side.” “I do believe that with our expertise and our partnerships, we can bring together the teams and the programmes necessary to make certain the Covid-19 pandemic does not become a human and food crisis catastrophe.”
WFP Senior Economist, Arif Husain, in a statement, said the economic impact of the pandemic was potentially catastrophic for millions “who are already hanging by a thread. It is a hammer blow for millions more who can only eat if they earn a wage,” he said in a statement.
“Lockdowns and global economic recession have already decimated their nest eggs. It only takes one more shock – like Covid-19 – to push them over the edge. We must collectively act now to mitigate the impact of this global catastrophe.”