If you thought 2020 has been a tough year, a UN official has warned that things will get better before they get worse. The head of the United Nation’s World Food Program (WFP) David Beasley has warned that unless it gets billions of pounds worth of funding, then many more people will go hungry next year.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced global economies to dry up, which will lead to “famines of biblical proportions”.
Mr Beasley told the Associated Press that the WFP needs $15bn (£11.1bn) to avert the crisis.
Some $10bn (£7.6bn) of this is needed to feed malnourished children across the planet, while the remainder is needed to avert global famine.
The crisis would have occurred this year, according to Mr Beasley, had global leaders not injected money into the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, money has dried up, with the global economy continuing to crumble, and the crisis looks to come back with a vengeance next year.
The WFP recently won the Nobel Peace Prize, which Mr Beasley said has been great publicity.
He said: “Everybody now wants to meet with the Nobel Peace Prize winner.”
However, meetings alone will not solve the impending crisis and the WFD head said that billionaires who have increased their wealth during the pandemic will step up to the plate.
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Mr Beasley said: “There’s about three dozen countries that could possibly enter the famine conditions if we don’t have the money we need.”
Yemen, South Sudan, northeastern Nigeria and Burkina Faso have areas which “have reached a critical hunger situation following years of conflict or other shocks”.
He added that further deterioration of these countries “could lead to a risk of famine.”
Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somali, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, also need “urgent attention”.
Mr Beasley continued: “We’re very, very, very concerned. 2021’s going to be a very bad year.”