Hunger or isolation. The United Nations has calculated the future consequences of COVID-19

Hunger or isolation. The United Nations has calculated the future consequences of COVID-19

Abir Etefa, head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Bureau for Communication and Cooperation in the Near East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, told RIA Novosti that the situation with COVID-19 is worse than with the outbreak of swine flu (H1N1) in 2009, she believes millions of people could face hunger.

“I don’t think we’ve ever experienced a situation as serious, even during H1N1 as we see it today. Representatives of the health sector described it as unprecedented. The fact that most countries are closed is something completely new to the world. Even during H1N1, we didn’t face closure of airports, borders, absolutely free air space when nobody is allowed to enter or leave the country”, –  Etefa said.

It is known that the H1N1 pandemic lasted from January 2009 to August 2010 and affected over 200 countries and territories. According to WHO, 18,449 people died from swine flu worldwide.

Etefa noted that the current situation is considered one of the most serious health crises in modern history and is comparable to the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, which lasted for two years.

She admitted that the economic impact of a pandemic could be even greater than the virus itself, as millions of people could face a choice of hunger or isolation.

“The consequences will be enormous for millions of people around the world who depend on wages to feed their families. Our challenge is to raise awareness of the crisis and the future of the millions of people who will be affected”, – Etefa stressed.

Even earlier, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), David Beasley, announced that if we do not act now, in the future humanity may face a “biblical scale” hunger.

On 21 April, the World Food Programme said in its forecasts that about 130 million people in the world will go hungry by the end of 2020 because of the consequences of coronavirus infection.


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