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  • Women queue to collect food vouchers in Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria. July 2020.



    Women queue to collect food vouchers in Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria. July 2020.

 | Photo: Twitter/ @UN_News_Centre

Published 17 July 2020
Opinion

Sub-Saharan Africa faces the highest famine risk, because of food production chain disruptions provoked by the virus but also violent displacements, conflicts, locusts’ swarms, and dry conditions.

The Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) warned Friday that about 25 nations would face devastating hunger due to COVID-19 economic impact.

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Both organizations released the Early Warning Analysis of Acute Food Insecurity Hotspots for July of 2020. The report assesses the pandemic influence on food production, specifically in nations suffering past food crises.

 “While the evolution of COVID-19 and containment measures remain dynamic and unpredictable, and the medium and longer-term impacts of the crisis are yet to be fully understood, it is already clear that low and middle-income countries will be disproportionately affected,” FAO and WFP reported.

Also, they preclude post-pandemic financial and food emergencies that would harm severely vulnerable groups like women, older adults, youth, children, persons with disabilities, indigenous populations, minorities, mobile and displaced populations as well as refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants.

Sub-Saharan Africa faces the highest famine risk, because of food production chain disruptions provoked by the virus but also violent displacements, conflicts, locusts’ swarms, and dry conditions. Yemen, Bangladesh, Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, and Honduras are also in similar vulnerability conditions.

“For children from already impoverished and food-insecure households, the negative effects of the crisis, including extended school closures and missing out on school meals, could have lifelong effects and further perpetuate the vicious cycle of poverty and inequality,” WFP and FAO warn.

Besides, the most impoverished urban population who rely on informal trade and employment, alongside farmers and rural families, would be severely harmed, as governments fail to implement financial aid programs that include not formal workers.

Both entities recommend that governments’ ensure critical food aid, to reach and assist traditionally excluded groups, and to promote local production.

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