With global hunger expected to increase sharply this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, humanitarian aid experts are calling on the US government to take a leadership role in ensuring that global food supply lines stay available.
The Trump administration and Congress have so far been obsessed with alleviating the pandemic impacts at home, which analysts claim is appropriate considering the magnitude of the issue.
But time is also necessary if the US wishes to ease what could turn into a century’s greatest food crisis — which could lead to regional destabilization in countries where Washington has national security interests, such as Yemen, Afghanistan , and Pakistan.
Global hunger escalates
Global relief groups request Congress to provide $12 billion in the upcoming coronavirus response funding bill. It presents to the president as extra foreign assistance. But even more than monetary aid, U.S. leadership is required to prevent other countries from creating trade barriers to agricultural exports. And to keep global supply lines going, these organizations told CQ Roll Call.
“We need a systemic response desperately and urgently. To keep pace with and eventually outpace either the virus or the economic collapse and food insecurity.” Gayle Smith said. Smith led the U.S. Under the Obama administration, the International Development Agency is now the president of the anti-poverty program based on ONE Initiative. “The problem with food supply is less of no food production and more of upsetting markets. So a business response has to be part of the solution.
Even before COVID-19 caused governments around the world to temporarily shut off large swaths of their economies. Global hunger was at one of its highest points in years. According to the annual Global Report on Food Crises released last month by a consortium of national and multilateral organizations. Including USAID and the U.N., approximately 135 million people faced extreme hunger in 55 countries. Especially in Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Venezuela. World Alimentation Program.