UN: world is on the verge of a hunger pandemic
Written by Lethiwe Mdluli on 23 April, 2020
The UN World Food Programme says the world is on the verge of a hunger pandemic caused by the coronavirus.
A report on the food crisis shows there are 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse globally.
Due to the virus, an additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of the year.
WFP’s executive director, David Beasley, says in a worst-case scenario, they could be looking at famine in about three dozen countries:
“On any given day, WFP offers a lifeline of about 100 million people, up from about 80 million just a few years ago. This includes about 30 million people who literally depend on us just to stay alive. If we cant reach these people with the live saving assistance they need our analysis shows that 300 thousand people could starve to death every single day over a three month period. This does not even include the increase of starvation due to Covid-19.”
Beasley has urged the UN Security Council to lead the way in doing so much more to beat this pandemic:
“First and foremost we need peace. As a secretary general said recently said very clearly that a global cease fire is essential right now. Secondly we need all parties involved in the conflicts to give us swift and unimpeded humanitarian access to all vulnerable communities so that we can get the assistance to them that they need regardless of where they are or who they are. We also need in a very general sense humanitarian goods and commercial trade to continue flowing across the borders.”
Meanwhile A group of South Africans calling themselves the Cry of the Xcluded, have issued a statement decrying the social, political and economic challenges they are facing during Covid-19.
The group says the government has abandoned the poor, leaving them without food or income.
It also notes harassment from the police and the military.
The group adds that it is disappointed that only a small percentage of the relief fund announced this week will go to the poor.
By: Bright Ntuli