World on brink of ‘hunger pandemic’: David Beasley

Foreign Desk Report

NEW YORK: The world is on the brink of a ‘hunger pandemic’ as the coronavirus continues to spread, the head of the U.N. food agency has warned the Security Council.
Highlighting “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II” sparked by the global spread of COVID-19 this year, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley pointed to deepening crises, more frequent natural disasters and changing weather patterns, and said, “We’re already facing a perfect storm”.
As millions of civilians in conflict-scarred nations teeter on the brink of starvation, he said, “famine is a very real and dangerous possibility”.
“There are no famines yet,” WFP chief told the virtual session of the Security Council on Tuesday. “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.”
Beasley painted a grim picture of 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse, coupled with an additional 130 million on the edge of starvation prompted by Coronavirus, and said that WFP currently offers a lifeline to nearly 100 million people–up from about 80 million just a few years ago.
“If we can’t reach these people with the life-saving assistance they need, our analysis shows that 300,000 people could starve to death every single day over a three-month period”, he upheld.