THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The head of the World Food Programme said yesterday the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to strengthen vulnerable supply chains to impoverished nations struggling to feed their populations.
Executive Director of the United Nations’ Nobel Peace Prize-winning food programme David Beasley said the pandemic put further stress on supply chains getting food to the hungry.
“We’ve got to continue to work the system, we’ve got to make certain that we are … less vulnerable to COVID type impacts,” Beasley told a World Economic Forum virtual panel.
“If you think you’ve had trouble getting toilet paper in New York, because of supply chain disruption, what do you think’s happening in Chad and Niger and Mali and places like that?”
Beasley stressed that the food supply system is “not broken” but that 10 per cent of the global population is in extreme poverty and need to be reached by suppliers and that the global pandemic exacerbated existing problems.
He said that “with 270 million people on the brink of starvation, if we don’t receive the support and the funds that we need, you will have mass famine, starvation, you’ll have destabilisation of nations and you’ll have mass migration. And the cost of that is a thousand times more.”