United Nations (AP) – Even before COVID-19 became an issue, World Food Program chief David Beasley was warning global leaders that the world would face the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II in 2020.
He added that due to wars in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, locust swarms in Africa, frequent natural disasters, and economic crises in Lebanon, Congo, Sudan and Ethiopia are included. Then came COVID-19 which quickly became an epidemic that increased the need for food worldwide – and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says it is still not under control.
Bisley, who received COVID-19 in April, has spent the month reaching out to world leaders and visiting stricken countries with a new warning, which he delivered to the UN Security Council last month: millions of people due to starvation Are close Deadly combinations of conflict, climate change and the coronavirus epidemic.
He said the WFP and its partners were going out this year to reach 138 million people – “the biggest scale in our history”.
Beasley urged donors, including governments and institutions, to help, and he made a special appeal to the world’s more than 2,000 billionaires, with total assets of $ 8 trillion, to open their bank accounts.
The United Nations food agency being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday is not only a tribute to its work in humanitarian crises even more than Beasley envisaged in this COVID-ravaged year, but the Nobel Committee made it clear that Is the petition. Unity and multilateral cooperation to deal with global challenges have been carried out by the WFP in a world facing increasing nationalism and populism.
Beazley called the award “the moving recognition of the work of a humble, WFP staff who put their lives in line every day to bring food and support to 100 million hungry children, women and men around the world – people whose lives Often broken down badly by instability, insecurity and conflict. ”
He also paid tribute to the agency’s government, organizations and private sector partners who help the hungry and vulnerable.
Bezley said in a statement on the WFP website, “Every one of the 690 million hungry people in the world has the right to live peacefully and without hunger today.”
“Today, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has made global headlines on them and the devastating consequences of the conflict. Climate shocks and economic pressures have added to their plight. “And now, a global epidemic, with its brutal impact on economies and communities, is causing millions to the brink of starvation.”
While the food crisis is primarily a result of conflict, Beasley said in April that he raised the possibility of a hunger pandemic due to the economic impact of COVID-19.
He told the Security Council last month that there has been a famine due to generous donations, but “this fight is far, far away – 270 million people moving towards the brink of starvation need our help today.”
And he said that the 30 million people who are completely dependent on the WFP for food to survive will die without it, and the WFP needs $ 4.9 billion to feed them for a year.
“We’re doing just about everything we can to prevent the dam from bursting,” said Beasley. “But, without the need for resources, a wave of hunger and famine still threatens to sweep around the world. And if it does, it will affect nations and communities weakened by years of conflict and instability . “
The WFP’s logistics operation is critical to deliver food to millions in need, and lockdowns and closed borders due to the epidemic have created considerable difficulties for the agency.
Beazley has stressed that measures to control coronovirus must be balanced with the need to keep the supply chain and trade across borders. And he has repeatedly expressed concern over the discontinuation of COVID-19 not only disrupting the food supply but also worsening other problems, such as interrupting vaccination and treatment for other diseases.
“There is a grave danger that many more people will die from the macroeconomic and social consequences of COVID-19 that the virus itself, especially in Africa,” Beasley said, “and the last thing we need is to cure the disease itself. Worse than that. “