With the Coronavirus spread disturbing the harvesting routine of the entire world, a large number of farmers and landlords are unable to disburse staple foods to the market. Owing to which, the degree of wasted food has gone perilously high, with the crops not having been attended properly and with the businesses shut down in various countries.
Reportedly, the situation had been quite adverse in various areas before the lockdowns began. The UN’s new report highlighted socio-political conflicts, natural disasters, the climate crisis, and the arrival of pests and plant and animal plagues to be the cause of the brewing food crisis.
A prime example being East Africa as per the report, for facing the worst swarms of locusts in decades, with heavy rain putting the relief efforts in jeopardy.
However, experts report that the coronavirus crisis and lockdowns have severely aggravated the issue, resulting in a recession that is likely to push the entire world into catastrophic dearth of food.
UN also claimed that about 50 million people across the globe are likely to fall into severe poverty in 2020, courtesy of the COVID-19 induced recession, and unemployment. However, in a more harrowing revelation, it is likely to result in poor nutrition of children which could go on to be a cause of lifelong suffering. With the rising unemployment and poverty rate, this seems to be a very real probability.
Based on the aforementioned facts, UN urges the governments all over the world to ready themselves to face the impending crisis.
In his address, Secretary General United Nations Antonio Guterres said,
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. We need to act now to avoid the worst impacts of our efforts to control the pandemic,
Guterres also proposed a three-pronged strategy to fend off the world’s worst food crisis in 50 years. Following is the three-pronged strategy:
- To tend to the poverty-stricken regions to fend off immediate disaster and for governments to set their keen focus on food supply chains.
- To fortify the social protection for vulnerable groups such as women and children.
- To allocate more resources to the environmental protection, education and medical sector in order to strengthen the said sectors to take on future challenges.
Pakistan has also been suffering from the aforementioned issues combined together. Therefore it is high time for the government to heed the words of the UN and start planning an aversion or coping strategy accordingly.