04/22/2020, 09.50
MIDDLE EAST - UN
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A famine of 'biblical proportions' caused by Covid-19

The alarm raised by World Food Program experts. Nations already affected by war, economic crises and climate change such as Syria and Yemen are at risk. Up to 250 million people at risk of hunger; in a few months 30 million in the world could die if stocks and financing are not insured.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The world population risks a famine of "biblical proportions" due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

This is the alarm being sounded by the World Food Program (WFP), the UN agency that deals with food assistance, according to which the most at risk are 10 nations in the world tormented by years of wars, economic crises and climate change; these also include Syria and Yemen.

The latest analysis by Johns Hopkins University reveals that global coronavirus cases exceeded 2.5 million and in the United States alone they have reached 825 thousand. The global victims are about 177 thousand, two thirds of which in Europe and the number is expected to increase in the coming weeks.

The progress of the disease, which most governments in the world have responded to with a sutdown of the economy and travel bans, is accompanied by the worst economic crisis since the Second World War. A picture that worries analysts and experts, with a view to a possible shortage in food stocks on a global scale.

David Beasley, head of the WFP, calls for urgent action in this regard to prevent a catastrophe. He also recently recovered from Covid-19, during a video conference with members of the UN Security Council, he stressed that the world must act "wisely and quickly".

"We are not facing only a global health pandemic - added the expert - but also a global humanitarian catastrophe".

The fourth global report on food crises, published in recent days, shows that among the countries at risk are Yemen, Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Haiti. In some areas, such as East Africa and South Asia, even before the coronavirus pandemic, the situation was critical in terms of food supplies due to a heavy drought and the worst invasion of locusts for decades.

The document shows that the number of hungry people could rise from 135 million to more than 250 million. In a matter of months, up to 30 million people, and perhaps even more, could die if funding is not secured and food supplies strengthened.

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