The head of the World Food Program warned that the growing hunger crisis threatens hunger, starvation and destabilization of nations.
Around 50 million people are currently on the brink of hunger, while even greater numbers face other forms of food insecurity, said UN food chief David Beasley, sounding the alarm for the global world. “chaos” and riots when countries fail to address major shortages of fuel, grains, fertilizers, and other commodities essential to food production.
Speaking to The Associated Press on Thursday, Beasley called on donor nations and private philanthropists to take action to avert a catastrophic hunger crisis amid ongoing shortages, saying “Chaos Worldwide” otherwise.
“Fifty million people in 45 countries [are] famine is knocking at the door,” he told the outlet. “If we don’t reach these people, you’re going to have hunger, starvation, destabilization of nations unlike anything we saw in 2007-2008 and 2011, and you’re going to have mass migration.”
If we don’t get this done quickly—and I don’t mean next year, I mean this year—you’re going to have a food availability problem in 2023. And it’s going to be hell.
While the director of the World Food Program said a total of about 80 million people faced levels of food insecurity when they entered work in 2017, that number has since risen to 345 million due to a number of reasons — what Beasley cited. “A perfect storm on top of a perfect storm.” Among other factors, he cited the lingering economic downturn from the Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdown measures, as well as significant supply chain issues caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine and counter-sanctions imposed by the West.
Grain shipments from both Ukraine and Russia, which normally export enough goods to feed hundreds of millions of people, have fallen sharply during the fighting, as have fertilizer exports from Russia, the world’s second-largest producer after China. Economic sanctions and outright embargoes on Russian products have also exacerbated the problem, although some countries, including the United States, have made exceptions to offset the deficit.
Beasley went on to explain that the world produces enough food for about 7.7 billion people, but farmers can only achieve proper yields with fertilizer, which has had difficulty reaching global markets. Without it, he predicted “to devastate” throughout the world, especially in Asia, where it is said “Rice production is now in a critical state.”
The official urged the Gulf countries in particular to do so “step up” contribution to the food program, noting that some countries have benefited greatly financially from soaring oil prices.
“We’re not talking about asking for a trillion dollars here. We’re just talking about asking for a few days worth of your profits to stabilize the world. he said and added “Even if you don’t give it to me, even if you don’t give it to the World Food Program, be in the game… People are suffering and dying all over the world. If a child dies of hunger every five seconds – shame on us.
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