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Analysis: Faulty Food Systems Laid Bare by COVID-19 And Climate Crises

“The pandemic has made it harder for farmers – already grappling with climate extremes – to sell their harvests, while rising poverty pushes more city residents to use food banks”

“ROME/LONDON – From wildfires in California and locust attacks in Ethiopia to job losses caused by pandemic lockdowns in Italy and Myanmar, climate change and COVID-19 disrupted food production and tipped millions more people into hunger in 2020.

Now there are fears the situation could worsen next year as both the coronavirus crisis and wild weather exacerbate fragile conditions linked to conflicts and poverty in many parts of the globe, aid officials told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

‘Even before COVID-19 hit, 135 million people were marching towards the brink of starvation. This could double to 270 million within a few short months,' warned David Beasley, head of the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), in emailed comments.

In April, Beasley, whose Rome-based organisation was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, told the U.N. Security Council that the world was facing ‘a hunger pandemic' and ‘multiple famines of biblical proportions'.”

Thin Lei Win and Cormac O'Brien report for Thomson Reuters Foundation December 27, 2020.