More people to go hungry as the COVID-19 pandemic hits harder

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Hunger

By witnessradio.org Team

 

New York – United Nations – More than 820 million people are sleeping hungry even though the production of food surpasses what is required to feed the 7.8 billion people Worldwide.

 

This has been attributed to the failing food systems and COVID -19 is worsening the situation. This leaves 144 million children under the age of 5 stunted worldwide while some 49 million extra people may fall into extreme poverty due to the COVID-19 crisis.

 

“Unless immediate action is taken, it is increasingly clear that there is an impending global food emergency that could have long term impacts on hundreds of millions of children and adults”. The UN has confirmed.

 

While launching a policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition, UN Secretary General, António Guterres said that some of the findings so far made ever since the pandemic broke out is the need to mobilize to save lives and livelihoods, focusing attention where the risk is most acute.

 

“That means designating food and nutrition services as essential, while implementing appropriate protections for food workers. It means preserving critical humanitarian food, livelihood and nutrition assistance to vulnerable groups and positioning food in food-crisis countries to scale up social protection systems”. He recommends.

 

Mr. Guterres says that countries need to safeguard access to safe, nutritious foods, particularly for young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, older people, and other at-risk groups.

 

“We cannot forget that food systems contribute up to 29 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, including 44 per cent of methane, and are having a negative impact on biodiversity and if we do these things and more, as indicated by the brief we are launching today, we can avoid some of the worst impacts of the COVID19 pandemic on food security and nutrition” He said.

 

He adds that there is need to act now to avoid the worst impacts of “our efforts” to control the pandemic.