49 million people may fall into extreme poverty due to COVID: UN chief
"This year, some 49 million extra people may fall into extreme poverty due to the COVID-19 crisis," UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres warned. He has also urged the countries to act "now" to ensure global food security.
Nearly 49 million more people are likely to fall into extreme poverty this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres has warned. He has called on countries to act immediately to ensure global food security.
“This year, some 49 million extra people may fall into extreme poverty due to the COVID-19 crisis. The number of people who are acutely food or nutrition insecure will rapidly expand. Every percentage point drop in the global gross domestic product (GDP) means an additional 0.7 million stunted children,” he said. Guterres further added that even in countries with abundant food, there are risks of disruptions in the food supply chain.
Secretary-General Guterres warned if immediate action is taken, an impending global food emergency could have a long-term impact on hundreds of millions of children and adults.
“There is more than enough food in the world to feed our population of 7.8 billion people. But, today, more than 820 million people are hungry. And some 144 million children under the age of 5 are stunted — more than 1 in 5 children worldwide. Our food systems are failing, and the COVID-19 pandemic is making things worse,” Guterres said at the launch of the policy brief on food security on Tuesday.
Guterres reiterated the need to “act now” to avoid the worst impacts of global efforts to control the pandemic.
Looking beyond the pandemic, the Secretary-General called for transforming food systems to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable world.
He urged countries to build food systems which address the needs of both producers and workers, and to eradicate hunger by ensuring more people have access to healthy, nutritious food.