UN Warns of ‘Famine of Biblical Proportions’ Because of Covid-19
While the world continues to struggle with the Coronavirus global pandemic, the United Nations has warned that a major famine could follow hot on the virus’ heals. Executive director of the World Food Programme David Beasley raised the alarm.
“We are not talking about people going to bed hungry,” Beasley told the UK’s Guardian newspaper. “We are talking about extreme conditions, emergency status – people literally marching to the brink of starvation. If we don’t get food to people, people will die.”
Coronavirus is likely to severely damage developing countries and adversely affect the food supply.
“This is truly more than just a pandemic – it is creating a hunger pandemic,” Beasley said. “This is a humanitarian and food catastrophe.”
“I was already saying that 2020 would be the worst year since the second world war, on the basis of what we forecast at the end of last year,” he said.
“Now, my goodness, this is a perfect storm. We are looking at widespread famines of biblical proportions.”
A combination of factors could cause widespread famine in parts of the world, in particular East Africa. At least 265 million people are at risk of starvation, the UN reported on Thursday. This is twice the number at risk before the Coronavirus pandemic began.
Bans on food exports and a lack of money to tackle potential famine have been blamed for the developing situation, while the virus has placed strains on resources in many at risk countries that may not be able to cope with further problems.