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WFP Urges the Rich to Help Prevent a ‘Hunger Pandemic’

September 20, 2020, 03.13 PM

UNITED NATIONS, - The World Food Program (WFP) Chief urged donor nations and billionaires to play an active role in a continued effort to prevent a ‘hunger pandemic’.

Millions of people are closer to starvation resulting from the deadly combination of conflict, climate change, and the coronavirus pandemic.

WFP’s Chief David Beasley told the UN Security Council that the response to his warning five months ago of a possible ‘hunger pandemic’ had averted famine, but the work does not end there.

The WFP and its partners were going all out to reach as many as 138 million people this year — “the biggest scale-up in our history”, he said.

Read also: Coronavirus Pandemic Effects Trigger Fear and Poverty in Turkey

But more was needed to help “the 270 million people marching toward the brink of starvation”.

Already, 30 million rely solely on the World Food Program for food to survive and will die without it, Beasley said.

He warned famine was possible in up to three dozen countries and could overwhelm places already weakened by conflict.

Beasley cited Congo where violence has increased and instability already has forced 15.5 million people near starvation.

He also said a lack of funding has forced cutbacks in assistance to feed people in Yemen, which faces the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.

Read also: Indonesia, Saudi Arabia Discuss Yemen Crisis

And in Nigeria and South Sudan, millions more people have become food insecure because of the pandemic, he said.

He said the World Food Program needs $4.9 billion to feed 30 million people who will die without the program's assistance for a year.

“It’s time for those who have the most to step up, to help those who have the least in this extraordinary time in world history,” Beasley said.

“Worldwide, there are over 2,000 billionaires with a net worth of $8 trillion,” the former South Carolina governor said, noting reports that some of the wealthiest Americans have made “billions upon billions” during the pandemic.


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