The proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty will pass below 10 percent for the first time this year but due to the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, hunger would spread from a looming food crisis across the globe. (Photo: De Visu/Shutterstock)
Sourced from the net by Tracy Cabrera
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The coronavirus pandemic that has slowed world economies now aggravated by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has triggered a worldwide food crisis that could cause millions of deaths, particularly in countries with the most number of poverty-stricken families and unemployed.
This is the assessment and warning of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFFATM) based in Geneva, which underscored the possibility that the food crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine would kill millions by leaving the hungriest more vulnerable to infectious diseases, potentially triggering the world’s next health catastrophe.
Grain shipments from the world’s fourth-largest exporter of wheat and corn have been stopped by a Russian naval blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and this has raised concern as the specter of shortages and hunger has over low-income countries.
According to GFFATM executive director Peter Sands, the knock-on effects of the food shortages (would) mean many will die not only of starvation but from having weaker defenses against infectious diseases due to bad nutrition.”
“I think we’ve probably already begun our next health crisis. It’s not a new pathogen but it means people who are poorly nourished will be more vulnerable to the existing diseases,” Sands pointed out in an interview on the sidelines of a G20 health minister meeting in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta.
“I think the combined impact of infectious diseases and the food shortages and the energy crisis . . . We can be talking about millions of extra deaths because of this,” he added.
The head of the major aid organization advised that world governments (c)ould minimize the impact of the food crisis by providing frontline healthcare to their poorest communities, who will be the most vulnerable, the British former banker who now heads the $4 billion fund said. (ai/mtvn)