UN predicts worsening food problems in Africa

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The number of people experiencing food difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic in the countries of East Africa and the Horn of Africa may reach 43 million in the next three months. This forecast was made at a briefing in Geneva on Tuesday by the official representative of the UN World Food Program (WFP), Elizabeth Beers.

She explained that in nine countries in this part of Africa – Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia and South Sudan – an estimated 20 million people are already facing acute food problems.

“An increase of up to 43 million will mean that this number will more than double,” Beers said. In particular, about 17 million of the poorest citizens and 3.2 million refugees will need help.

The UN spokeswoman recalled that due to the economic turmoil associated with the coronavirus, “millions of people have already lost their jobs.” “It is expected that the economic consequences of the disease COVID-19 (caused by the new coronavirus disease – ed.) will die more people than from the virus itself,” she said.

Beers noted that for humanitarian operations in East Africa and the Horn of Africa, WFP needs more than $ 500 million for the next three to six months. However, she said that difficulties are associated not only with the availability of products, but also with restrictions on cross-border transportation for a pandemic. WFP expects humanitarian operations to “be granted special status.”

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