‘Knocking on famine’s door’: UN food chief wants action now



UNITED NATIONS: The UN food chief warned on Thursday that the world faces “a perfect storm on top of a perfect storm” and urged donors, especially Gulf nations and billionaires, to deal with the crisis in fertilizer supplies. Requested to give profit for few days. Prevent widespread food shortages now and next year.
“Otherwise, there is going to be chaos all over the world,” said executive director of the World Food Program David Beasley said in an Associated Press interview.
Beasley said that when he took over the WFP 5 1/2 years ago, only 80 million people worldwide were going to starvation. “And I’m thinking, ‘Well, I can put the World Food Program out of business,'” he said.
But climate problems raised that number to 135 million. The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in early 2020, has doubled it to 276 million people who had no idea where their next meal was coming from. Finally, Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, sparking a war and a food, fertilizer and energy crisis that pushed the number to 345 million.
“It has 50 million people knocking on the door of famine in 45 countries,” beasley Told. “If we don’t reach these people, you will have famine, starvation, destabilization of nations, as we saw in 2007-2008 and 2011, and you will have mass exodus.”
“We have to answer now.”
Beasley has been meeting with world leaders and speaking at events during the week General Assembly Leaders gather to warn about the food crisis.
General Assembly President Saba Korosi said in his opening speech on Tuesday that “we live in a permanent state of humanitarian emergency, it seems.” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres Warned that conflict and humanitarian crises are spreading, and the funding gap for UN humanitarian appeals is $32 billion – “the biggest gap ever.”
This year, Beasley said, the war shut down shipments of grain from Ukraine — a country that produces enough food to feed 400 million people — and sharply cut back from Russia, which is the world’s second largest producer of grain. The largest fertilizer exporter and a major food producer.
Beasley said donor fatigue often undermines aid, especially in countries with an ongoing crisis such as Haiti. Inflation is also a serious issue, raising prices and killing poor people who have no coping ability because COVID-19 “devastated them financially.”
So that said, mothers are forced to make this decision: Do they buy cooking oil and feed their babies, or do they buy heating oil so they don’t freeze? Because there is not enough money to buy both.
“It’s a perfect storm on top of a perfect storm,” Beasley said. “And with the fertilizer crisis we are facing now, with the drought, we are facing the problem of food pricing in 2022. It caused havoc across the world.”
“If we don’t get over this early – and I don’t mean next year, I mean this year – you’ll have food availability problems in 2023,” he said. “And it’s going to be hell.”
Beasley explained that the world now produces enough food to feed the more than 7.7 billion people in the world, but 50% of that food is because farmers use fertilizer. Without this they cannot get such a high yield. China, the world’s top fertilizer producer, has banned its exports; Russia, which is at number two, is struggling to bring it to the world markets.
“We have to move those fertilizers, and we have to move it quickly,” he said. “Asian rice production is in a critical position right now. The seeds are in the ground.”
In Africa33 million small farms feed more than 70% of the population, and right now “we are short of several billion dollars for fertilizers.” He said that Central and South America also faced drought and India was plagued by heat and drought. “It could go on,” he said.
He said the July deal to ship Ukrainian grain from three Black Sea ports is a start, but “we have to move grain, we have to get fertilizer for everyone there, and we need to end the wars.” Is .”
Beasley said the United States contributed an additional $5 billion to food security, and Germany, France and The European Union are also taking steps. But he called on the Gulf countries to “take more steps” with such high oil prices, especially to help countries in their region such as Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.
“We’re not talking about asking for a trillion dollars here,” Beasley said. “We’re talking about asking for a few days of your profits to stabilize the world,” he said.
The WFP chief said he also met a group of billionaires on Wednesday night. He said he told her he had a “moral obligation” and “needed to be cared for.”
“Even if you don’t give it to me, even if you don’t give it to the World Food Program, join the game. Join the game of loving your neighbor and helping your neighbor,” Beasley said. People are suffering and dying in the world. Shame on us when a child dies of hunger every five seconds.


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