Food

World Food Programme head warns Covid-19 pandemic could provoke ‘famines of biblical proportions’

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) is warning of potential famines of “biblical proportions” as the Covid-19 pandemic affects countries in an already dire situation. In an interview with FRANCE 24, the United Nation’s WFP Executive Director David Beasley said he was especially worried about a breakdown in the supply chain that allows his agency to provide food to dozens of millions of people around the globe.

WFP head David Beasley expressed confidence that donor nations would respond to a $4.7 billion fundraising call launched this week by the UN to help those in need, despite the recession hitting many rich countries. He also stressed that top Trump administration officials and key US congressional leaders had reassured him that they understood the need to maintain funding for the food emergency.

However, he called on “the world’s billionaires” to do more, saying, “It’s time for you to step up in a way you’ve never stepped up before; people are in need … this is a one-time phenomenon and we need your help.”

However, he warned that the situation in Africa was likely to become much worse in the coming weeks, in large part because of the economic collapse provoked by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Almost a quarter of a billion people will be marching towards starvation because of the economic deterioration from Covid, wars, conflicts… It is a perfect storm. I do wish I were exaggerating, but we are really looking at what could be famines of biblical proportions in multiple countries, and especially in Africa,” Beasley told FRANCE 24’s Marc Perelman.

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