UNGA President: World Hunger Pandemic Must Be Addressed
May 1, 2020 (EIRNS)—Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the United Nations General Assembly and Nigeria’s ambassador to that body, wrote a commentary urging international action for “Preventing a Pandemic-Induced Food Emergency,” which was published today by the Food and Agriculture Organization. The ambassador identified two key related shortages—infrastructure and health care—which must also be addressed to deal with that food emergency.
“In both our rapid response to the pandemic, and our long-term planning, it is imperative that we link food security to health interventions and investment in infrastructure,” he urged. “In order to evade famine and widespread hunger, we must invest in inclusive, resilient food systems which reflect our new reality. As we contend with the COVID-19 pandemic we must re-commit to ending hunger.”
Hunger has been on the rise globally for the past four years, he reminded, and “despite successful harvests this past season, two billion people did not have regular access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus” [emphasis added].
“Those suffering from hunger are at greater risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms as a result of associated health conditions, such as malnutrition and non-communicable diseases, which compromise the immune system.” And those who are hungry often live in poverty, “and do not have access to health services, water and sanitation facilities, or indeed the space to quarantine or practice social distancing.”