“Famine is literally on the horizon and we are talking about the next few months”
AT THE THIRTY-FIRST SPECIAL SESSION of the WHO, 2ND MEETING of 4 DECEMBER 2020, David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), warned of alarming global hunger and food insecurity, with the number of people “marching towards starvation” spiking from 135 million to 270 million as the pandemic unfolded. He stressed that 2021 will be catastrophic. “Famine is literally on the horizon and we are talking about the next few months,” he said. Noting how the WFP stepped in to deliver aid when the global airline industry shut down at the start of the pandemic, he warned anew that 2021 risks becoming the worst humanitarian crisis year since the founding of the United Nations, “and we will have to step up”.
“Striking a similar note, Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that in the absence of humanitarian assistance the lives of 235 million people are at stake — a 40 per cent increase, with poverty rising for the first time in 20 years while life expectancy will fall. It would be a significant achievement to avert a major famine.”
“Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, pointed out that the pandemic has left 80 million refugees and internally displaced persons particularly vulnerable to health hazards and other consequences. Most refugees are in poor countries, a fact that requires a special focus.“
Full Report: Amid Threat of Catastrophic Global Famine, COVID-19 Response Must Prioritize Food Security, Humanitarian Needs, Experts Tell General Assembly