The UN has warned that the world is on the verge of the worst food crisis in at least 50 years as the recession following the COVID-19 pandemic may put basic nutrition beyond impoverished people’s reach. The organization has urged governments to take prompt action to prevent further disaster as 49 million more may fall into extreme poverty due to the outbreak.
Food systems are failing and the pandemic is mitigating the situation, said UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, on June 9, 2020.
“Unless immediate action is taken, it is increasingly clear that there is an impending global food emergency that could have long term impacts on hundreds of millions of children and adults.”
Although harvests of crops are holding up and export bans and protectionism have been largely avoided so far, the worst of the pandemic’s impacts and the recession that will follow is yet to be felt.
This year, about 49 million more may fall into extreme poverty due to the coronavirus as the number of people who are severely food insecure will rapidly expand.
“Even in countries with abundant food, we see risks of disruptions in the food supply chain,” Guterres pointed out. “We need to act now to avoid the worst impacts of our efforts to control the pandemic.”
The secretary-general plotted a three-point plan to restore the world’s ailing food systems and avoid further harm.