Growing hunger crisis risks ‘famine, starvation’ and ‘destabilizing nations’, World Food Program chief warns
Around 50 million people are now on the brink of starvation, while an even larger number face other forms of food insecurity, according to UN food chief David Beasley, who fired the alarm bell on the world situation. “chaos” and unrest if countries fail to address major shortages of fuel, grain, fertilizer and other essentials for food production.
Speaking to The Associated Press for an interview on Thursday, Beasley urged donor countries and private philanthropists to take action to prevent a catastrophic hunger crisis amid ongoing shortages, saying there would be “chaos all over the world” Otherwise.
“Fifty million people in 45 countries [are] knocking at the door of famine, he said at the exit. “If we don’t reach these people, you will have starvation, starvation, destabilization of nations unlike anything we saw in 2007-2008 and 2011, and you will have mass migration.”
If you don’t recover quickly – and I’m not talking about next year, I mean this year – you’re going to have a food availability problem in 2023. And it’s going to be hell.
While the director of the World Food Program said a total of around 80 million people faced some level of food insecurity when he took office in 2017, that figure has since risen to 345 million thanks to a series of causes – what Beasley called “a perfect storm upon a perfect storm.” Among other factors, he cited the lingering economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and related shutdown measures, as well as significant supply chain issues caused by the still-raging war in Ukraine and retaliatory sanctions. imposed by the West.
Grain shipments from Ukraine and Russia, which typically export enough goods to feed hundreds of millions of people, fell sharply amid the fighting, as did fertilizer exports from Russia, the second-largest producer. world behind China. Economic sanctions and outright embargoes on Russian products have also exacerbated the problem, although some countries, including the United States, have made exceptions to compensate for shortages.
Beasley went on to explain that the world produces enough food for the world’s population of some 7.7 billion people, but said farmers can only get the proper yields by using fertilizers, which struggle to reach global markets. Without it, he predicted “ravaged” around the world, especially in Asia, where says “Rice production is in critical condition right now.”
The official notably called on the Gulf countries to “intensify” contributions to the food programme, noting that some countries have reaped significant financial gains as a result of soaring oil prices.
“We’re not talking about asking for a trillion dollars here. We’re just talking about asking for a few days of your profits to stabilize the world,” he said adding “Even if you don’t give it to me, even if you don’t give it to the World Food Programme, get in the game… People are suffering and dying all over the world. When a child dies every five seconds of hunger, shame on us.
You can share this story on social media: