The first famines during the times of the coronavirus or COVID-19 can soon hit four areas that are food-deprived and full of conflicts, Yemen, South Sudan, northeast Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations has warned.
In a letter for the members of the Security Council, the official Mark Lowcock stated that the risks of famines in the above-mentioned areas had been increased by natural disasters, economic shocks, and also the public-health crises all aggravated by the coronavirus crisis. He mentioned that the factors are endangering the lives of millions of people, as reported by The New York Times.
The officials of the UN had previously stated that all four areas are vulnerable to acute food deprivation due to the armed conflicts and the inability of the relief providers to freely distribute the aid. David Beasley, who is the executive director of the World Food Program, warned the Security Council in April that the world is on the brink of a hunger pandemic.
First Famines of COVID-19 Era Near
Mr. Lowcock, the United Nations' undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, escalated the warning stating that a lack of funding for the emergency relief and the difficulties created by the coronavirus have now pushed a few of the world's neediest populations on the brink of famine. According to a monitoring system for understanding the hunger emergencies known as the Integrated Food Security Classification or IPC scale, Phase 3 is a crisis, Phase 4 is considered an emergency and Phase 5 is famine.
Lowcock said in Yemen the risk of famine is slowly returning. The nation has been ravaged by civil war between the Houthi rebels and a coalition backed by the Saudi, which has made 80 percent of the country dependent on aid from outside. The food costs have surged and drinking water prices have doubled since Aril in Yemen. In 16 districts of the nation, Lowcock said the hunger emergency is now at Phase 4, as reported by The New York Times.
On the other hand, the official stated that in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, 21 million people are living in crisis of food insecurity. In northeast Nigerian states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, Lowlock mentioned over 10 million people now need assistance and also protection.
Over 1.2 million people in northeast Nigeria satay largely inaccessible to aid agencies because of the conflict and intentional obstruction by non-state armed groups. In South Sudan, a recent rise in violence has left over 1.4 million people witnessing a food crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic is currently creating a major stir around the world as it has infected more than 26.6 million people globally and claimed the lives of over 875,000 people worldwide. The whole world is currently facing an economic crisis as an effective vaccine is expected by the first quarter of 2021.