Covid-19 has raised food insecurity to levels of decades ago

By Laura Serrano-Conde

Rome, Oct 16 (efe-epa).- The coronavirus pandemic has increased global food insecurity to levels not seen for decades and countries need to build more resilient food systems to prevent this trend from continuing.

This was stated on Friday by United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres, Pope Francis and Queen Letizia of Spain who spoke at an online event to celebrate World Food Day, organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which is based in Rome and celebrated its 75th anniversary the same day.

The coronavirus pandemic “has further intensified food insecurity to a level not seen in decades”, Guterres said in a video statement.

“Some 130 million people risk being pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of this year,” he added.

“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 the UN will continue to work for “a future where everyone, everywhere, has access to the nutrition they need”.

Guterres said the fact that this year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the UN World Food Programme, which is also based in Rome, “recognizes the right of all people to food, and our common quest to achieve zero hunger”.

He added that the international community must work to “make food systems more resistant to volatility and climate shocks”.

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