Story at a glance
- In April, the head of the WFP warned of devastating famines in dozens of countries due to the ramifications of COVID-19.
- World leaders responded with funds and stimulus packages and managed to avoid the worst-case scenario.
- Now as the coronavirus continues to surge, prompting another wave of shutdowns, David Beasley says funding that was available this year will not be available in 2021.
The head of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) is once again warning that the world is at risk of widespread famine as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press reports.
In April, WFP Executive Director David Beasley told the UN Security Council devastating famines could break out in dozens of countries in the developing world due to the effects of COVID-19 restrictions if action wasn’t taken.
World leaders responded with funds and stimulus packages and managed to avoid the worst-case scenario. But now as the coronavirus continues to surge, prompting another wave of shutdowns, Beasley says funding that was available this year will not be available in 2021.
“We were able to avert it in 2020,” Beasley told The Associated Press in an interview, but said without billions of dollars “we are going to have famines of biblical proportions in 2021.”
WFP needs $15 billion next year to avoid famine and to carry out the agency’s programs around the globe.
“If I could get that coupled with our normal money, then we avert famine around the world,” he told the news outlet.
In October, the WFP was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to fight hunger and food insecurity in conflict-affected areas around the globe amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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