David Beasley said in an interview with The Associated Press that the Norwegian Nobel Committee was looking at the work that the agency does every day in conflicts, disasters and refugee camps, often risking the lives of employees to feed millions of hungry people Puts – but also “to send a message to the world that it is getting spoiled there … (and) that our hardest work is yet to be done.”
“It was timely as we were fighting to rise above the choir,” Beasley said of last month’s award, the news of dominating the US elections and the COVID-19 epidemic and focusing on the global Points to difficulty. “On the crisis we are facing in the world.”
“So it was really a gift from above,” Beazley said, recalling the astonishment and joy of the WFP’s 20,000 employees worldwide, and with the news of being interrupted during a meeting in Niger in the Sahel region of Africa Your shock.
Beasley recalled his warning to the UN Security Council in April, saying that as the world was dealing with a coronovirus pandemic, it was also “on the verge of a hunger pandemic” which within a few months “caused several famines of biblical proportions. “Could produce. No immediate action was taken.
“We were able to avoid it in 2020 … because world leaders responded with money, incentive packages, rejection of loans,” he said.
Now, Beazley said, COVID-19 is growing again, economies are deteriorating, especially in low and middle-income countries, and there is another wave of lockdowns and shutdowns.
But he said that the money that was available in 2020 is not going to be available in 2021, so he is using Nobel to meet personally with leaders, talk to parliaments and make speeches. The tragedy we are facing – the crisis that is really going to be extraordinary on the next, who knows, 12 to 18 months. “
“Everyone wants to meet with the Nobel Peace Prize winner now,” said Beasley, explaining that he now gets 45 minutes instead of 15 minutes with the leaders and is able to go deeper and explain that next year How bad things are going to happen and how leader programs have to be prioritized. “And the response has been really good,” he said.
“I’m telling them that you don’t have enough money for all the projects historically funded.”
“Those are important things,” said Beasley, but comparing the impending crisis of Titanic, he said, “Right now, we really need to focus on the icebergs, and the icebergs are famine, starvation, instability and migration.”
Beasley said WFP needed $ 15 billion next year – $ 5 billion for famine only and $ 10 billion to complete the agency’s global programs for undernourished children and school lunch, which often provide only food to youth is.
“If I can get along with my usual wealth, we reduce famine around the world” and reduce instability as well as migration. he said.
In addition to raising additional funds from governments, Beazley said, his other “great hope” is that billionaires who made billions during the COVID-19 epidemic will step in on a timely basis. He began planning to carry this message forward in December or January.
In April, Beasley said 135 million people faced “levels of hunger crisis or worse”. A WFP analysis showed that COVID = 19 could push an additional 130 million people “to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020.”
He said in a virtual interview from Rome on Wednesday, where the WFP is based, that during the famine this year, the number of people experiencing a level of hunger crisis is rising to 270 million.
“There are about three dozen countries that could possibly enter a state of famine if we don’t have the money we need.”
According to a joint analysis by the WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in October, 20 countries are “likely to face potential spikes in high acute food insecurity over the next three to six months,” and require immediate attention. is.”
Among them, Yemen, South Sudan, Northeast Nigeria and Burkina Faso have some areas that “have reached a critical hunger situation after years of conflict or other setbacks,” UN agencies said, and in the coming months. Can cause any further deterioration. Threat of famine. “
Other countries needing “immediate attention” are Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somali, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, he said.
Beazley said a COVID-19 vaccine would “create some optimism that is expected to help economies around the world, especially Western economies, jump in. But the WFP executive director said that already $ 17 billion this year Is an economic stimulus of “and we are not. This is going to happen globally. “
“We are very, very, very worried” that new lockdowns and rotten economic impact, with debt repayments for low and middle-income countries starting again in January, “2021 is going to be a very bad year,” Bailey said.
Copyright © 2020 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.