Pandemic could cause ‘famine of biblical proportions,’ warns UN World Food Programme

Dozens of countries could be headed towards “famine of biblical proportions” if efforts are not stepped up to fight a global hunger crisis worsened by the pandemic, the head of the United Nations World Food Program warned.

Speaking at a G20 event on humanitarian assistance in Italy, he said 270 million people were on the brink of starvation, with 41 million knocking on famine’s door.

He said, “These are not just numbers. These are not just statistics. These are people with real names, real lives, fragile and literally on the brink of starvation. If we don’t address their needs over the next six to nine months, you could have unprecedented famine of biblical proportions, destabilization of nations and mass migration.”

The World Bank said the pandemic pushed 97 million more people into poverty in 2020. Close to a billion worldwide are now suffering from hunger and malnutrition, with countries in Africa among the hardest hit. 

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