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While WHO Frets Over Coronavirus, Another UN Agency Sounds Alarm on Shutdown-Induced Starvation

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The widespread interruption in government services that took place to stall the spread of COVID-19 is now being linked to an emerging crisis of hunger.

The World Food Program, a United Nations agency, fears that the response to the virus may do more damage than the disease itself, according to Fox News.

“While dealing with a COVID-19 pandemic, we are also on the brink of a hunger pandemic,” WFP Executive Director David Beasley recently told the U.N. 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,” he said.

“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 said, according to NBC.

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That view was seconded by Ian Bradbury, CEO of the Canada-based humanitarian organization 1st NAEF.

“Quarantine regulations, shipping challenges, and overall supply chain issues are compounding and adding to previously existing starvation conditions,” he said.

“We can expect more global deaths due to secondary impacts of COVID-19 than the virus itself — the World Food Program currently estimates that 265 million will be on the brink of starvation by the end of the year,” he said.

WFP’s chief economist Arif Husain said that many who were barely getting by will no longer be able to survive in the harsh new reality that has emerged.

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“COVID-19 is potentially catastrophic for millions who are already hanging by a thread. It is a hammer blow for millions more who can only eat if they earn a wage. Lockdowns and global economic recession have already decimated their nest eggs. It only takes one more shock — like COVID-19 — to push them over the edge. We must collectively act now to mitigate the impact of this global catastrophe,” he said, according to The Guardian.

Wars in Yemen, Syria and South Sudan as well as natural disasters in Africa were already making hunger a critics for millions.

Beasley said that globally, 821 million people are hungry every day and another 135 million people are facing “crisis levels of hunger or worse,” according to The New York Times.

A new WFP analysis estimates that due to complications caused by the response to the coronavirus, another 130 million people “could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020,” he said.

“In a worst-case scenario, we could be looking at famine in about three dozen countries,” he said. The WFP lists Yemen, Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria, Sudan, Nigeria and Haiti as the top 10 nations battling hunger.

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Beasley noted that in Ethiopia, for example, tourism revenue dropped 50 percent because of coronavirus restrictions.

“We’ve got to work this together and look at the whole picture, keep the supply chain going, and minimize the economic impact so that we can make certain that people don’t starve to death,” he said. “So it’s going to be a very delicate balancing act for leaders, and I think they’re learning.”

The WFP leader said that economic collapse and supply chain disruption could lead to “destabilization and chaos in many countries around the world, which will result in significant financial implications for all regions of the world.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
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Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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