Covid May Push 49 Million Into Extreme Poverty This Year: UN Chief

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António Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations

United Nations- Nearly 49 million more people are likely to fall into extreme poverty this year due to the Covid-19 crisis and every percentage point drop in the global GDP would mean hundreds of thousands of additional children will have stunted growth, UN chief Antonio Guterres has warned, calling on countries to act immediately to ensure global food security.

Secretary-General Guterres warned that unless immediate action is taken, it is increasingly clear that there is an impending global food emergency that could have long-term impact on hundreds of millions of children and adults.

“There is more than enough food in the world to feed our population of 7.8 billion people. But, today, more than 820 million people are hungry. And some 144 million children under the age of 5 are stunted — more than 1 in 5 children worldwide. Our food systems are failing, and the Covid-19 pandemic is making things worse,” Guterres said at the launch of the policy brief on food security on Tuesday.

Nations must mobilise to save lives and livelihoods, focusing attention where the risk is most acute. “Countries need to scale up support for food processing, transport and local food markets, and they must keep trade corridors open,” he said.

 

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