Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Shared will needed to prevent food crisis

Shared will needed to prevent food crisis

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
In South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, poor families are struggling to get access to food because of the Covid-19 pandemic. China Daily

Shared will needed to prevent food crisis

The heads of four UN agencies have issued a warning of the growing number of vulnerable people, particularly children, suffering from malnutrition and even hunger worldwide.

In South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, poor families are struggling to get access to food because of the pandemic, they wrote in a white paper published in the medical journal The Lancet and released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation last week.

They called on countries to take action to protect children from food supply problems caused by the pandemic and prevent the pandemic having “an inter-generational legacy of hunger and malnutrition”.

It is estimated that 10,000 more young children will likely die each month as households are cut off from markets and villages are isolated from food and medical aid, they warned.

As an increasing number of countries restrict exports of grain, those countries that rely on imports of grain for food will be unable to obtain enough food for their people.

That explains why the UN estimates that more than 550,000 additional children each month are suffering from wasting – malnutrition that manifests in spindly limbs and distended bellies – with the total numbers up 6.7 million from last year’s total of 47 million.

To be exact, the restrictions on people’s movement for the prevention and control of the spread of the coronavirus have resulted in stagnation in economic development. As a result, poor people in underdeveloped countries who live from hand to mouth have not had any income to buy food. Some have had to eat whatever wild plants and other things within their reach.

As early as April, David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme, warned that the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy could cause global famines “of biblical proportions” this year.

There are different stages of what is known as food insecurity; famine is officially declared when, along with other measures, 30 per cent of the population suffers from wasting. If the pandemic is not controlled worldwide soon and lasts into next year, let alone the year after next, the size of the global population affected by food insecurity will only increase.

It is imperative major countries realise how urgent and important it is to make concerted efforts to bring the virus under control and revive the global economy. It is not just cooperation to develop vaccines as well as effective medicines to treat those infected with the virus that is required, but capital and the political will to avoid an escalation of the pandemic from a health crisis to a food crisis.

Global solidarity matters if a world food crisis is to be avoided whose effects would outlast the duration of the pandemic.



  • 12th Cambodia int’l film festival to see return of Hollywood star

    Phnom Penh is set to come alive with the magic of cinema as the highly anticipated 12th Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) takes centre stage. Boasting an impressive line-up of 188 films from 23 countries, including captivating shorts, feature films, documentaries and animation, the festival promises an

  • Brawl marrs football final as Indonesian take gold in seven goal thriller

    The Indonesian men's U22 men national football team were crowned champions of the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia, defeating Thailand 5-2 in extra time on May 16 at Olympic National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The match was marred by an ugly incident that occured in the 91

  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Candlelight Party disqualified from July general election

    The National Election Committee (NEC) has disqualified the Candlelight Party (CP) from contesting the upcoming general election, citing a lack of valid documentation. NEC spokesman Khorn Keomono said the CP failed to fulfil one of the three main requirements: including original documentation proving their registration

  • Thong Khon calls for orderly SEA Games closing ceremony

    Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and permanent vice-president of the Cambodia SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC), calls on all people who have received tickets to the May 17 closing ceremony of the biennial multi-sports extravaganza at the Morodok Techo National Stadium to ensure that the event

  • 1.4 billion dollar Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway due in four years

    The Government, through the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, has officially signed a public-private partnership agreement with a private company for the construction of a Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway project that will connect the capital to Svay Rieng province. The budget for the project is