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UN Warns Of Global Famines As A Result Of COVID-19


London (CNN):- The world is facing multiple famines of “biblical proportions” in just a matter of months, the UN has said, warning that the coronavirus pandemic will push an additional 130 million people to the brink of starvation.

Famines could take hold in “about three dozen countries” in a worst-case scenario, the executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP) said in a stark address on Tuesday. Ten of those countries already have more than 1 million people on the verge of starvation, he said.

He cited conflict, an economic recession, a decline in aid and a collapse in oil prices as factors likely to lead to vast food shortages, and urged swift action to avert disaster.

“While dealing with a Covid-19 pandemic, we are also on the brink of a hunger pandemic,” David Beasley told the UN’s security council.

“There is also a real danger that more people could potentially die from the economic impact of Covid-19 than from the virus itself.”

The WFP had already warned that 2020 would be a devastating year for numerous countries ravaged by poverty or war, with 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse.

Their updated projections nearly double that number.

When added to the 821 million people already chronically hungry, that scenario would push more than 1 billion people into dire situations.

The agency identified 55 countries most at risk of being plunged into famine in its annual report on food crises, released this week, warning that their fragile healthcare systems will be unable to cope with the impact of the virus.

“These countries may face an excruciating trade-off between saving lives or livelihoods or, in a worst-case scenario, saving people from the coronavirus to have them die from hunger,” the report said.

Ten countries were singled out as particularly at-risk, after housing the worst food crises last year; Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Nigeria and Haiti.

Most of those countries have so far been spared the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, with the epicenter moving from China to Europe to North America, but the state of their healthcare institutions means even relatively small outbreaks could be devastating.

To date, more than 2.5 million cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed globally.
Even before the outbreak of the coronavirus, food supplies in some of the most vulnerable regions in the world were being directly affected by impacts such as crop failures and locust swarms.

Exceptional drought followed by extremely heavy rainfall markedly decreased the seasonal crop yield in the Horn of Africa during 2019.

These irregular weather and climate patterns also contributed to the worst desert locust invasion in 25 years, which further threatened the crop supply in the region.
Meanwhile, the combination of conflict, climate-related shocks and crop pests had resulted in the world’s worst food crisis in Yemen, according to the agency.

The new, coronavirus-related factors affecting each region were myriad. “Lockdowns and economic recession are expected to lead to a major loss of income among the working poor,” Beasley said. Overseas remittances will also drop sharply, affecting countries such as Haiti, Nepal, and Somalia, for example.

“The loss of tourism receipts will damage countries such as Ethiopia (and) the collapsing oil prices in lower-income countries like South Sudan will have an impact significantly,” he added.

He appealed to UN member states to act now, telling them: “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 truth is, we do not have time on our side, so let’s act wisely — and let’s act fast,” he added.

“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.”


    • The one that will come after him will be the same way and do the same things you have to change the mind set about agriculture amongst the youth and instill the beneficiaries of agriculture. We have to move away from the notion it’s about walking around in rubber boots up to your knees with a cutlass in you hand. Agriculture Science and Earth Science needs to be implemented in our high schools and should be curricular requisites to graduate. Growing up I remember they had The 4H Club, they had the school farm these were instrumental in my up bringing and gave me my second love for gardening and rearing animals, my granny did it first. Now a big man I have found a new love for it in 2020 thanks to Corona and crazy politicians. I don’t walk around in water boots all day, in 2020 I am learning modern day agriculture science by logging on to Bayer and learning how to produce better crop yield by simply studying the sun, the position of the suns altitude and latitude and how this affects growth, testing the fertile biometrics of the soil to determine what will grow best or what you need to add or subtract. You will not believe how good my home garden looks by just following these simple steps. My goal is by the end of 2020 I will be able grow what I need and eat what I grow from cantaloupes to strawberries to hell with them and their supermarkets lining up like cattle’s going into a slaughter house.

      • For once I am in total agreement with Lucian Highgrade regarding self sustenance where agriculture is concerned. Instead of criticising with no solution – Lucian Highgrade HAS a solution, which most of us St Lucians can achieve. It is time for AGRICULTURE to feature in our future, etc (Tourism is a fickle industry). Agriculture should be KING of our industrial spectrum. Like I always say: Agriculture is not only for food, but for medicine, clothing, wellbeing, cosmetics, housing, home decor and more. Mostly everything we touch in our daily lives begins with agriculture (except plastic and metal).

        Tighten your waists St Lucians and begin your backyard garden to feed your family and maybe even your neighbours. It is a lot easier than you think, is most enjoyable, satisfying and can even make one calm and peaceful. I have begun already, and so far, have a thriving herb and seasonings garden – even doing my own composting. I still have more to plant (vegetables), and I find the whole experience relaxing, and I want to do more (hydroponics and maybe even aquaponics).

        Lucian Highgrade – you are on the right path! At least, in my books. It would be nice to see comments on solutions, instead of nonsensical criticisms and non action.

  1. Why in these dark hours one thinks of politics? this is indeed sick. What difference does it make who the heck
    is in charge? we should first focus on the nation as a whole, come together to find a way to survive this present
    battle before the second wave comes on. I tell you, God forbid, the time will come when none of us will have
    need of a Bank, a Wall Street, an Investment Account, a Min. of Agriculture or any at all, a King or a Queen, or
    a PHD, a Knighthood to be called Sir – none of this will matter, for this too will pass as foolishness to many. It
    makes me sad indeed for all the smaller Islands whose Economies are bound to vanish overnight, sorry to say.
    I wish some of us could see both sides of the coin as one. SLP Vs UWP – should be like a Transgender bath room.
    Every member have wet dreams of one day being P.M; a poor blind generation, ruled by fellow blind brothers.

  2. The reason that there will be so much starvation, is because the virus doesn’t discriminate. both rich and poor countries are affected. And there in lies the problem. Under normal circumstance the rich northern hemisphere willing donates / gives support to the suffering south. This time everybody is suffering the pandemic at the same time. Nobody up north is going to support the usually needy south. They’re going to support themselves first. and then if there’s some scraps left they’ll send it to “$hithole”Africa. Our safety net has a hole in it this time. We gon’na pay with lives lost. We all at one point or another hate the white’s, but we gon’na wish to love them soon. You watch.

  3. The garden is so dry,cant use WASCO water the Dam is in a mess.Its hard to keep the plants alive these days.

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