World Programme Warns Of ‘Multiple Famines’

April 22, 2020

While much of the world, including Bermuda, faces job layoffs and economic decline, the situation is far more dire in poor and war torn nations, with the World Food Programme warning that the world faces “multiple famines of biblical proportions” which “could result in 300,000 deaths per day.”

The World Food Programme Insight website said, “World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley has warned that in addition to the threat posed by COVID-19, the world faces ‘multiple famines of biblical proportions’ that could result in 300,000 deaths per day — a ‘hunger pandemic’.

A WFP-backed nutrition clinic in Kaya, Burkina Faso [photo courtesy of WFP/Marwa Awad]:

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“Speaking at an online briefing broadcast by the UN on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, Beasley highlighted the fact that there are currently 821 million food-insecure people in the world. ‘If we don’t prepare and act now, to secure access, avoid funding shortfalls and disruptions to trade,” he said, the result could be a “humanitarian catastrophe…in a short few months’.

Beasley added, “Millions of civilians living in conflict-scarred nations, including many women and children, face being pushed to the brink of starvation, with the spectre of famine a very real and dangerous possibility.”

Aleppo, Syria, where WFP supplies nutritious snacks to 15,000 schoolchildren [photo courtesy of WFP/Marwa Awad]:

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“Entitled ‘Protection of civilians from conflict-induced hunger’, the briefing coincided with the release of the Global Report on Food Crises 2020.

“The report highlights 55 countries where 135 million people face crisis-level malnutrition — and that is without counting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the response to which creates an ‘excruciating trade-off between saving lives or livelihoods or, in a worst-case scenario, saving people from the coronavirus to have them die from hunger.’

Women and girls are among more than 12 million people WFP delivers food assistance to each month in Yemen [photo courtesy of WFP/Mohammed Nasher]:

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Citing research from WFP, Beasley said that as the virus spreads, ‘an additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. That’s a total of 265 million people.’

Joined by Qu Dongyu, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO], and Jan Egeland, Secretary-General, Norwegian Refugee Council, Beasley added, “WFP offers a lifeline to nearly 100 million people, up from about 80 million just a few years ago. This includes about 30 million people who literally depend on us to stay alive.

Children in Nyal village, South Sudan, share a meal [photo courtesy of WFP/Gabriela Vivacqua]:

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“If we can’t reach these people with the life-saving assistance they need, our analysis shows that 300,000 people could starve to death every single day over a three-month period.”

“Chief among worries are countries across Africa and the Middle East — with shutdowns exacerbating poverty, more people are expected to die from the economic impact of COVID-19 than from the virus itself, the Global Food Crises Report suggests. In countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe, ‘national health systems are already overstretched, with an alarming dearth of equipment, medicines and trained staff’.

“These are among nine countries that account for more than 40 percent of stunted children, the report says. Beasley echoed its alarm. “1.6 billion children and young people are currently out of school due to lockdown closures,” he said. “Nearly 370 million children are missing out on nutritious school meals — you can only imagine when children don’t get the nutrition they need their immunity goes down.”

“According to the Global Food Crises Report’s breakdown, coronavirus aside, of the 135 million suffering acute hunger, 77 million are in countries affected by conflict, 34 million are in places that are subject to climate shocks, and 24 million are in places affected by humanitarian crises.

“Wrapping up his speech, Beasley implored “all parties involved in conflicts to give us swift and unimpeded humanitarian access to all vulnerable communities, so they can get the assistance to them that they need, regardless of who they are or where they are.”

He added: “WFP is the logistics backbone for the humanitarian world and even more so now for the global effort to beat this pandemic.”

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  1. This should be an eye opener for most Bermudians but sadly it wont be and I often ask the question when this happens to Bermuda how will we manage, and I don’t say if this will happen to Bermuda, but when it happens, because I believe there is coming a time where either the World is at War and maybe it will be during World War 3, or something of that magnitude when ships will not be able to bring goods into our shores, Covid19 is nothing compared to what is predicted to come, the question is, are we ready.

    Greed has taken over the entire Earth and it’s this same Greed that will create circumstances for World Suffrage and Bermuda is not self sustainable and gone are the days that we have Gardens with plenty to take care of an entire Country, Bermudians need to wake up before it’s to late. We are to laid back and to comfortable, even in Covid19, we really don’t know real suffrage like these nations, but we also may not be to far off from experiencing it either.

  2. moira thompson says:

    Yes Mr. Santucci this is a serious matter, no one has even mentioned it! We are definitely too laid back and not mature enough to discern real issues that are inevitable and pending… The world shut down because of another reason other than a pandemic and we will find out soon enough. Mr. Santucci wouldnt you say we are in World war3 already? the most high said it would be different from all other wars.

    By the way, children in Africa including South Sudan, eat together anyway, sharing from one bowl, lots of families eat that way as well, they have a bowl for water to wash their hands and they allll dig in. . Maybe some pictures from the streets of California, the new tent city would have been more appropiate to display the new famine and poverty.