World could face food crisis: UN, WTO

World could face food crisis: UN, WTO

World could face food crisis: UN, WTO

The heads of three global agencies warned worldwide food shortage if authorities due to ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Many governments around the world have put their populations on lockdown to reduce the spread of the virus. But this has resulted in a severe slowdown in international trade and food supply. The UN, the WTO, expects the world to face a food crisis.

In the meantime, people do not have to buy fear and panic in isolation. In many countries, the shelves of the supermarket are empty.
Meanwhile panic buying by people going into isolation 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).

After the 2007 global financial crisis, rice producing countries India and Vietnam restricted exports to ward off expected price increases. The result: food riots in several developing countries as the price of rice soared.

The warning directed at Russia as officials there mulled restricting wheat exports. Already tapped the nation’s reserves to ensure prices don’t jump.

“In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdowns, every effort made to ensure that trade flows as freely as possible. Specially to avoid food shortage(s)” from developing, the joint statement said.

“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,” it 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,”.

start of crisis

Unless solutions are found quickly the lack of seasonal farm labourers from Mexico puts the production of many crops in the United States at risk. In Western Europe the absence of workers from North Africa and Eastern Europe could produce a similar result.

Supermarket cashiers are among those who have succumbed to the virus in Italy and France, where some workers have staged walkouts over the lack of measures and equipment to protect them.

It Upscale wholesale food markets in the United States are also facing a halt. US President Donald Trump has seen the end of international cooperation over the past few years, stopping international agreements and institutions and launching trade wars.


“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.”


Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2020

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