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More famines, especially in Africa, due to locusts and the novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19): A perfect storm of hunger and disease

2020-04-23

image by Lothar Dieterich courtesy of pixabay.com

Multiple news outlets (including the BBC) have warned that the pandemic will lead to increased famine, particularly in Africa, where an outbreak of locusts has decimated crops throughout eastern Africa and southern Asia.  Yemen has the worst famine in decades from the locusts already.

David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme (WFP), made the following statements:

“We could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months,” he said. “The truth is we do not have time on our side.”

In a call to action, he added: “I do believe that with our expertise and our partnerships, we can bring together the teams and the programmes necessary to make certain the Covid-19 pandemic does not become a human and food crisis catastrophe.”

Mr. Beasley himself recently recovered from an attack of COVID-19.  He also said, “Excuse me for speaking bluntly… One way or another, the world will pay for this.”  He predicted that 30 million people could die from the famine, a hundred times the number of people who have died from COVID-19 so far.  The WFP currently feeds more than 12 million people a month in Yemen.

At the same time, it was reported that 26 million Americans had succeeded in filing for unemployment in the past month.  Famine could affect people right here in America, as the food banks are under unprecedented stress from rising demand and smaller donations.

Surely, the US government could find a billion here or a billion there in its over $3 trillion relief program to help the hungry in Africa.  But Mitch McConnell (Senate Majority Leader), the most powerful man in the US government after the *president, has said to the states, “drop dead”, literally telling them to file for bankruptcy (which they cannot do under law) in part to get out from under their onerous, underfunded pension obligations.  There is no compassion in the people who run our government– none for our own states, who have been forced to compete for scarce supplies with the federal government, and none for the hungry of the world.

[the information about world famine was sourced from the BBC article referenced above; the part about our government comes from multiple recent news sources.]

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