“Our food systems are no longer working and the Covid-19 pandemic is worsening the situation,” warns UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The health crisis is not the only consequence of coronavirus. In April, the UN had already warned of a risk of explosion in the number of severely hungry people. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday warned of a “global food crisis” with long-term repercussions for “hundreds of millions of children and adults” if nothing is done to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic.
“Our food systems are no longer working and the Covid-19 pandemic is worsening the situation,” he said in a statement accompanying a UN study, recalling that today “more than 820 million people do not eat at their hunger ”.
“Some 144 million children under the age of 5 are stunted, more than one in five children worldwide.” “This year, 49 million more people could fall into extreme poverty due to the crisis” caused by the pandemic, he warns.
Avoid interruption of distribution chains
“The number of people experiencing severe food insecurity or suffering from severe malnutrition will increase rapidly,” predicts the secretary-general, asking for mobilization “as a priority where the risk is most acute”.
Antonio Guterres calls in particular for protection for workers in the food sector, to preserve humanitarian aid, and to strengthen support for the food industry and trade to avoid the interruption of distribution chains.
He also asked to focus on nutritional programs, in particular by setting up aid for children who no longer have access to school meals. For the head of the UN, it is possible to develop healthy and nutritious foods to eradicate hunger in the world.