David Paisley, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, said the world is facing not only a “global health pandemic but also a global humanitarian catastrophe.”
Paisley pointed out that 135 million people face hunger levels or worse, along with 130 million additional people on the brink of starvation due to the spread of the Coronavirus, noting that the World Food Program is currently providing aid, which is the lifeblood, for nearly 100 Million people instead of about 80 million just a few years ago.
“If we cannot reach these people with the life-saving assistance they need, our analysis is that 300,000 people can die of hunger every day for three months. This does not include increased hunger rates due to the spread of COVID-19,” he added.
This came during a video session of the Security Council, entitled “Protection of Civilians from Hunger Caused by Conflict,” which is the first open session of the Council since the start of the deployment of COVID-19.
Paisley pointed out that the global spread of COVID-19 resulted in “the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War,” and touched on the exacerbation of crises, the recurrence of natural disasters and changing weather patterns, saying, “We are already facing a severe storm.”
He said that millions of civilians who live in countries affected by conflict, including many women and children, face a real and very serious danger of falling into the clutches of famine, pointing out that it is necessary to maintain the continuity of the work of food aid programs, including the programs provided by the program. Global food to save about 100 million people globally
He called on all those involved in the fighting to allow “rapid and unimpeded” humanitarian access to vulnerable communities, while calling for coordinated action to support life-saving assistance, by providing $350 million, to create a network of logistical hubs to maintain the movement of humanitarian supply chains throughout the world.
For his part, Zhu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), highlighted how the Global Report on Food Crises for 2020 links clearly between conflict and high levels of acute food insecurity.
The report pointed out that 135 million people in 55 countries experienced severe food insecurity in 2019, nearly 60% of whom lived in conflict or instability. Mr. Zhu Dongyu referred to Yemen as the world’s worst food crisis and malnutrition this year, expecting that the number of people suffering from severe food insecurity will exceed 17 million.
Conflicts, extreme weather, desert locusts, and economic shocks are now likely to serve as COVID-19, “more people to acute food insecurity.” Adding, we can intervene quickly to mitigate its effects. “