With the widespread prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is risking hunger pandemic. According to the UN’s World Food Program (WFP), 265 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by COVID-19 pandemic.
The Global Report on Food Crisis 2020, prepared by the World Food Program, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and 14 other organizations, states that 135 million people in 55 countries faced the highest level of food insecurity as 2019 ended.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many parts of the world are under a strict lockdown, which has disrupted the processing and transportation of food. And rising unemployment and underemployment will also severely reduce people’s access to food. The WFP analysis estimated that the COVID-19 situation could push 130 million people more into acute food insecurity, totalling the number to 265 million at the risk of starvation.
As I just explained to the @UN Security Council, we’re on the verge of a hunger pandemic caused by the #coronavirus. If we don't act NOW, we could be facing MULTIPLE famines of biblical proportions within a few short months.
Read my statement below.
— David Beasley (@WFPChief) April 21, 2020
During his video conference addressing the UN Security Council, David Beasley, Executive Director for the UN World Food Programme, said,
“With COVID-19, I want to stress that we are not only facing a global health pandemic but also a global humanitarian catastrophe. Millions of civilians living in conflict-scarred nations, including many women and children, face being pushed to the brink of starvation, with the spectre of famine a very real and dangerous possibility,
This sounds truly shocking but let me give you the numbers: 821 million people go to bed hungry every night all over the world, chronically hungry, and as the new Global Report on Food Crisis published today shows, there are further 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. That means 135 million people on earth are marching towards the brink of starvation. But now the World Food Programme analysis shows that, due to the Coronavirus, an additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. That’s a total of 265 million people.”
The WFP chief has requested to take immediate action to avoid the food crisis.
"It is critical we come together as one united global community to defeat this disease."
— United Nations (@UN) April 22, 2020
“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,
The actions we take will determine our success, or failure, in building sustainable food systems as the basis of stable and peaceful societies. The truth is, we do not have time on our side, so let’s act wisely – and let’s act fast. I do believe that with our expertise and partnerships, we can bring together the teams and the programs necessary to make certain the COVID-19 pandemic does not become a humanitarian and food crisis catastrophe. So Mr President, thank you, thank you very much,” concluded Mr Beasley.