News

World faces food crisis in wake of coronavirus: UN, WTO

April 1, 2020 05:45 PM


The heads of three global agencies warned Wednesday of the risk of a worldwide "food shortage" if authorities fail to manage the ongoing coronavirus crisis properly.

Many governments around the world have put their populations on lockdown causing severe slow-downs in international trade and food supply chains.

Panic buying by people going into confinement has already demonstrated the fragility of supply chains as supermarket shelves emptied in many countries.

"Uncertainty about food availability can spark a wave of export restrictions, creating a shortage on the global market," said the joint text signed by Qu Dongyu, head of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Roberto Azevedo, director of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdowns, every effort must be made to ensure that trade flows as freely as possible, specially to avoid food shortage(s)" from developing, they said in their statement. "When acting to protect the health and well-being of their citizens, countries should ensure that any trade-related measures do not disrupt the food supply chain," they added.

Over the longer term confinement orders and travel restrictions risk causing disruptions in agricultural production due to the unavailability of agricultural labour and the inability to get food to markets.

"Such disruptions including hampering the movement of agricultural and food industry workers and extending border delays for food containers, result in the spoilage of perishables and increasing food waste," said the three leaders.

They also stressed the need to protect employees engaged in food production, processing and distribution, both for their own health and that of others, as well as to maintain food supply chains.

"It is at times like these that more, not less, international cooperation is essential," they said. "We must ensure that our response to COVID-19 does not unintentionally create unwarranted shortages of essential items and exacerbate hunger and malnutrition."

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOavNaBX4NU


Most Read

  1. Yet another burden on people: Govt hikes oil prices Yet another burden on people: Govt hikes oil prices
  2. Nadeem Mahboob named federal health secretary Nadeem Mahboob named federal health secretary
  3. Public reacts to Bohemia's music video ‘Salsa’ starring Sistrology Public reacts to Bohemia's music video ‘Salsa’ starring Sistrology
  4. Palestinian Embassy denounces fake news of orphan adoption in Pakistan Palestinian Embassy denounces fake news of orphan adoption in Pakistan
  5. Saudis offered PIA, airports, joint ventures to build five-star hotels Saudis offered PIA, airports, joint ventures to build five-star hotels
  6. Team formed to probe woman’s death after tortured by cop on train Team formed to probe woman’s death after tortured by cop on train

Opinion

  1. Insights into the Pakistan Stock Exchange's Recent Record High Triumph
    Insights into the Pakistan Stock Exchange's Recent Record High Triumph

    By Zulfiqar Ali Mir

  2. IMEC to sabotage CPEC
    IMEC to sabotage CPEC

    By Dr Asif Channer

  3. 1947 TO FORM 47
    1947 TO FORM 47

    By Dr Asif Channer

  4. Beijing wants to further highlight industrial sector in its country and take scientific innovation to new heights....
    Beijing wants to further highlight industrial sector in its country and take scientific innovation to new heights....

    By Ali Ramay

  5. Global race: China will reduce its unnecessary expenses
    Global race: China will reduce its unnecessary expenses

    By Ali Ramay

  6. Channer Pir: The Great Saint of Cholistan
    Channer Pir: The Great Saint of Cholistan

    By Dr Asif Channer