re posted from EIR Daily Alert Service
World Food Program Issues Urgent Call for Food Aid, Says Food Is ‘the Best Vaccine against Chaos’
July 1 (EIRNS)—The United Nations World Food Program yesterday issued an appeal for $4.9 billion in additional funds over the next six months to be able to feed the tens of millions of people who, because of the pandemic, now need food assistance to survive.
The figures are stark: Last year, WFP food assistance helped keep a record 97 million people alive; it is currently “ramping up” its program to feed 138 million people. But based on real-time monitoring and assessment of needs as the pandemic spreads, the WFP now estimates the number of people needing its assistance could increase by another 132 million before the end of 2020, to total 270 million souls. That is an 82% increase over the food aid required before the pandemic, the WFP stated.
“The frontline in the battle against the coronavirus is shifting from the rich world to the poor world,” WFP Executive Director David Beasley warned yesterday. “Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos. Without it, we could see increased social unrest and protests, a rise in migration, deepening conflict and widespread under-nutrition among populations that were previously immune from hunger.”
Ibero-America and the Caribbean have seen an almost threefold increase in the number of people needing food because of the pandemic, and the total is projected to rise to just under 14 million by the end of the year; the number of people lacking food in West and Central Africa has soared by 135%, and in Southern Africa by 90% since the pandemic stuck. The WFP also reports a general increase of severe hunger in urban communities of low- and middle-income countries, both from job losses and the precipitous drop in remittances due to the pandemic.
“This unprecedented crisis requires an unprecedented response. If we do not respond rapidly and effectively to this viral threat, the outcome will be measured in an unconscionable loss of life, and efforts to roll back the tide of hunger will be undone,” Beasley stated.
Source: EIR Daily Alert Service