• Monday, Nov 30, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:35 pm

UN chief: 130 million people face starvation risk by year end

  • Published at 07:11 pm October 16th, 2020
UN chief Antonio Guterres
File Photo: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends the 10th Asean-UN Summit in Bangkok on November 3, 2019 AFP

The Covid-19 pandemic has further intensified food insecurity to a level not seen in decades, he says

One hundred and thirty million people risk being pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of this year, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday.

“This is on top of the 690 million people who already lack enough to eat. At the same time, more than three billion people cannot afford a healthy diet,” he said in a message on the occasion of World Food Day.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has further intensified food insecurity to a level not seen in decades,” said Guterres, according to UN Bangladesh.

“The award of this year’s Nobel Prize for Peace to the United Nations World Food Programme recognizes the right of all people to food, and our common quest to achieve zero hunger,” he said.

In a world of plenty, it is a grave affront that hundreds of millions go to bed hungry each night, the UN chief added.

“As we mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, we need to intensify our efforts to achieve the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals. That means a future where everyone, everywhere, has access to the nutrition they need,” Guterres said.

“Next year, I will convene a Food Systems Summit to inspire action towards this vision. We need to make food systems more resistant to volatility and climate shocks. We need to ensure sustainable and healthy diets for all, and to minimize food waste,” he said.

“We need food systems that provide decent, safe livelihoods for workers,” he added.

The world has the know-how and the capacity to create a more resilient, equitable and sustainable world, the UN secretary-general noted.

“On this World Food Day, let us make a commitment to ‘Grow, Nourish, and Sustain. Together,’” he concluded.

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