Category Archives: Hunger

Coronavirus pandemic may throw 60 MILLION people into extreme poverty, World Bank warns

Coronavirus pandemic may throw 60 MILLION people into extreme poverty, World Bank warns
The world’s progress in eliminating poverty is set to suffer a major setback due to the Covid-19 outbreak, forcing more people to survive on less than $1.90 per day, the World Bank has said in its recent report.

“The pandemic and shutdown of advanced economies could push as many as 60 million people into extreme poverty – erasing much of the recent progress made in poverty alleviation,” World Bank Group President David Malpass said. According to him, the unprecedented crisis could wipe out up to three years of progress in the area.

ALSO ON RT.COMCovid-19 crisis could leave $8.8 trillion hole in global economy, Asian Development Bank warns

The pandemic has been ripping through the global economy, which is set to fall into a deep recession and contract by up to five percent this year, the Washington-based institution said.

Last month, the bank said that the virus-triggered economic turmoil is likely to cause the first increase in global poverty since 1998, when the Asian Financial Crisis hit. Even under the bank’s best estimate, some 49 million people will fall into extreme poverty, which it defines as living on less than $1.90 per person per day.

ALSO ON RT.COMCovid-19 crisis could trigger global food shortage, UN warns

To help combat the deadly virus, the World Bank has offered financing emergency programs in 100 countries. In the “largest” crisis response in the Bank Group’s history, the program unlocked $160 billion in grants and financial support over a 15-month period, as well as the suspension of bilateral debt service payments. The bulk of the financial help will go to Sub-Saharan Africa, as it is expected be the region hit hardest in terms of increased extreme poverty.

Most international financial institutions have already sounded alarms over the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with some forecasts indicating that the global gross domestic product (GDP) could fall nearly 10 percent. The UN had earlier warned that the virus could also trigger a global food shortage, while its labor agency forecasts that 195 million jobs could be lost worldwide.

UN FOOD AGENCY CHIEF WARNS GLOBAL FAMINE OF “BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS” JUST MONTHS AWAY

John Vibes

David Beasley, director of the United Nations World Food Program, told the U.N. Security Council this week that the world is on “the brink of a hunger pandemic” and we could be facing “multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months.”

Beasley warned that the world is facing “a perfect storm” due to the pandemic, economic crisis, locust swarms, and numerous wars that are still ongoing across the planet.

“It is critical we come together as one united global community to defeat this disease, and protect the most vulnerable nations and communities from its potentially devastating effects,” Beasley said.

According to the 2020 Global Report on Food Crisis, which was published this week, an additional 135 million people will be facing starvation by the end of the year.

“In a worst-case scenario, we could be looking at famine in about three dozen countries, and in fact, in 10 of these countries we already have more than one million people per country who are on the verge of starvation,” Beasley said.

“There’s a real danger that more people could potentially die from the economic impact of COVID-19 than from the virus itself,” he added.

Beasley said that places like Haiti, Nepal, and Somalia, where a large number of families depend on income from overseas workers will be hit especially hard. He urged world leaders to set aside their differences and slow down their military adventures to meet the current challenge.

“We need all parties involved in conflicts to give us swift and unimpeded humanitarian access to all vulnerable communities, so they can get the assistance to them that they need, regardless of who they are or where they are. Supply chains have to keep moving if we are going to overcome this pandemic and get food from where it is produced to where it is needed,” he said.

Another concern is that countries will ban exports on certain important foods and medicines, which has already started to happen.

According to Bloomberg, Kazakhstan has banned exports of wheat flour, which is a major concern because the country is one of the world’s biggest producers. Meanwhile, Vietnam, the world’s third-largest exporter of rice, has temporarily suspended rice export contracts.

Politicians and business leaders have insisted that the supply chain is strong and that shelves will continue to be filled to meet the increasing demands at grocery stores. However, there is no doubt that there have been some supply chain disruptions to different parts of the global economy since the outbreak began.

There are also concerns that domestic supply chains will be disrupted if there are continued outbreaks among essential workers.

Last week, meat packaging plants across the U.S. were forced to close as hundreds of workers became sick with the virus. According to a new investigation by USA Today, meatpacking plants are acting as epicenters for the virus and causing further spread to neighboring communities.

According to the report, rates of infection around these meat packaging plants are higher than 75% of other counties in the country.

The UN Is Now Admitting That This Coronavirus Pandemic Could Spark Famines Of “Biblical Proportions”

theeconomiccollapseblog.com
April 21, 2020

What the head of the UN’s World Food Program just said should be making front-page headlines all over the globe.  Because if what he is claiming is true, we are about to see global food shortages on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented in modern history.  Even before COVID-19 arrived, armies of locusts the size of major cities were voraciously eating crops all across Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia, and UN officials were loudly warning about what that would mean for global food production.  And now the coronavirus shutdowns that have been implemented all over the planet have brought global trade to a standstill, they are making it more difficult to maintain normal food production operations, and they have forced countless workers to stay home and not earn a living.  All of this adds up to a recipe for a complete and utter nightmare in the months ahead.

David Beasley is the head of the UN’s World Food Program, and on Tuesday he warned that we could actually see famines of “biblical proportions” by the end of this calendar year.  The following comes from ABC News

The coronavirus pandemic could soon double hunger, causing famines of “biblical proportions” around the world by the end of the year, the head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday.

Beasley warned that analysis from the World Food Programme, the U.N.’s food-assistance branch, shows that because of the coronavirus, “an additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. That’s a total of 265 million people.”

He described what we are facing as “a hunger pandemic”, and he insisted that urgent action must be taken in order to avoid a nightmare scenario.

But in some parts of the globe a nightmare scenario is already unfolding.  For example, close to half the population of South Sudan is currently facing starvation, and for many of them the only food that is available is what gets dropped from the sky

The villagers hear the distant roar of jet engines before a cargo plane makes a deafening pass over Mogok, dropping sacks of grain from its hold to the marooned dust bowl below.

There is no other way to get food to this starving hamlet in South Sudan. There are no roads, and the snaking Nile is miles away.

Over in South Africa, the “chronic food shortages” have already become so severe that they are starting to spark rioting, looting and civil unrest…

UNREST broke out in parts of South Africa amid chronic food shortages sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Looters raided shops, attacked each other, the army and police after breaching one of the strictest lockdowns in the world.

Police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the mobs but local community leaders fear more outbreaks of violence are imminent.

Here in the western world we don’t have to worry about such things yet, but without a doubt the number of needy people is rapidly rising.

This past Saturday, vehicles literally began lining up at 2 AM in the morning for a food distribution event at the San Antonio Food Bank

The San Antonio Food Bank teamed up with Atascosa County to feed meals and hope to hundreds of people Saturday morning. Vehicles began to line up around 2 AM Saturday outside the county courthouse, winding through neighborhoods at least two miles away.

I have never heard of people lining up so early before.

I have heard of vehicles lining up at the crack of dawn around the country in recent days, but 2 AM is absolutely nuts.

But these people realize that when the food is gone there will be no more handouts that day, and there are many that are absolutely desperate to get something to feed their families.

As this coronavirus pandemic has created an enormous amount of fear all over the country, empty shelves have been reported in frozen food sections all over the nation, and the fact that an increasing number of meat processing plants are being temporarily closed down is certainly not helping things.  According to CBS News, at least 17 meat processing plants in the United States have been shut down so far…

Coronavirus infections in at least 17 meat processing plants across nine states are contributing to a spike in confirmed cases in the Midwest. Although 13 plants are already closed temporarily or operating at reduced capacity, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says shutting down plants would hurt farmers and the national food supply.

In a desperate attempt to keep as many facilities in her state open as possible, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has enlisted the help of the National Guard

Hundreds of National Guard personnel are being activated in Iowa as coronavirus sweeps through meat-processing plants in a state that accounts for about a third of U.S. pork supply.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said 250 National Guard members have been moved to full-time federal duty status and could help with testing and contact tracing for workers at plants operated by Tyson Foods Inc. and National Beef Packing Co.

The good news is that authorities are telling us that any product shortages should just be temporary and that all of these processing plants will eventually be brought back online.

But for the planet as a whole, life is not going to be getting back to “normal” any time soon.

In fact, Takeshi Kasai of the World Health Organization is warning that we need to accept “a new way of living” until a vaccine finally arrives

“At least until a vaccine, or a very effective treatment, is found, this process will need to become our new normal,” he said.

“Individuals and society need to be ready for a new way of living.”

But now that scientists have discovered approximately 30 different strains of this virus, that is going to greatly complicate matters.

Coming up with a successful vaccine for any coronavirus would be a historic feat, and now scientists also have to hope that they will pick the particular strain of COVID-19 that will become dominant in the future.

And of course, many people around the globe will not want to take any vaccine that is developed under any circumstances.

So those that are thinking that there will be an easy way out of this crisis are likely to be deeply disappointed.

Meanwhile, the global economic downturn is getting deeper with each passing day, and global food supplies are getting tighter and tighter.

A global famine is coming, and the UN is sounding the alarm.

Unfortunately, most people in the western world are still not listening.

 

 

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Corbett: Let Them Eat Ice Cream! (10 min)

Could this Coronavirus crisis be the end of these useless and vapid celebrities? I hope so. They really do not matter.
April 22, 2020
Marie Antoinette didn’t actually say “Let them eat cake” but you won’t believe who is saying “Let them eat ice cream.” Join James for this edition of #PropagandaWatch as he explores the latest fad among the celebrities and political puppets: Shaming poor people!

 

Reality of American capitalism exposed: Millions line up for food aid as pandemic spreads

“Capitalism is being exposed to a degree without precedent in modern history. Workers must draw the lessons. A system that funnels trillions to a handful of financial parasites while condemning millions to poverty and death must be swept aside.”

Source

http://www.wsws.org

April 13, 2020

“… in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”—John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, April 1939

***

The rapid spread of the coronavirus in the United States is revealing the consequences of decades of ruling-class policy, which have left the center of world capitalism completely unprepared for a significant health care emergency. At the same time, the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic is exposing the reality of widespread poverty and insecurity.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, breadlines became a symbol of social distress. Such scenes are reemerging in the form of massive line-ups for emergency food assistance in every state and community.

On Thursday, 6,000 cars lined up for five miles at a food bank drive-through in San Antonio, Texas. Some families arrived 12 hours early to ensure they received some aid. In Inglewood, California, south of Los Angeles, 5,000 cars lined up to receive food on Friday. Foodbank usage in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has increased by 543 percent in recent days.

Boxes of food are distributed by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, at a drive-thru distribution in downtown Pittsburgh, 10 April, 2020 [Credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar]

Those who are lining up are not just the poorest workers, who typically rely on food banks in hard times, but also broader sections of the working class and middle- class families who have never had to rely on such aid in their lives.

“I’ve never had to go to a food pantry in my life,” Shanell Gray, a recently laid-off hotel worker, told the Columbus Dispatch at a food distribution in Ohio’s capital city this weekend. “This just went really fast. I was able to pay my rent for this month. May is the struggle.”

Nearly 17 million workers have filed for unemployment in the last three weeks, the highest number ever recorded. Even this figure, however, underestimates the scale of layoffs. Millions more are either ineligible for benefits or have been unable to apply due to overloaded websites and call centers.

The vast majority of the population has yet to receive any financial assistance. Just 10,000 people had received a direct deposit to their bank account as of Friday, and most states still have not established a means of sending out the $600 weekly increase in unemployment for four months.

While trillions have been handed over to the banks and gigantic corporations—with no requirement that they wait in lines—every obstacle is being put in place to prevent workers from getting anything and to cut off aid as soon as possible.

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, son of the late arch-reactionary Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, has done everything in his power to limit payments, including by excluding gig workers who use phone apps to find work and making it easier for companies to avoid paying sick and family leave.

“We want workers to have work, not to become dependent on the unemployment system,” Scalia declared in an article posted last week on Fox Business News. The comments mirrored Trump’s outraged response to the fact that “we’re paying people not to go to work.”

The consequences will be catastrophic. According to one survey, nearly three-quarters of all workers live paycheck to paycheck. Almost three in 10 American adults have no savings. With so many hanging on by their fingernails before the pandemic, the often-individual experience that one missed paycheck spells personal disaster has become a mass phenomenon.

Already, one-third of Americans missed paying rent in the first week of April, a figure that is sure to be higher in May as millions deplete their savings accounts to get by without a paycheck. If they are not immediately being evicted, due to a patchwork of local and state level moratoriums, then millions will eventually be thrown into the streets because they cannot afford to pay back the rent they will owe when workplaces reopen.

If the promised stimulus money does arrive from the federal government, it will count for little. The one-time $1,200 payment will not cover the cost of rent in most cases, let alone food and other essentials. The stopgap measures included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act passed by Republicans and Democrats last month are woefully inadequate to meet social need.

While so many are hungry for food, the anarchy of the capitalist market has been exposed by the fact that farmers are destroying crops of staple foods as orders and prices fall. No measures have been taken to redistribute and process food for consumption even as stores struggle to keep up with demand for basic food items such as milk and eggs.

Instead eggs are smashed by the tens of thousands, countless tons of green beans mulched and plowed into fields, onions buried by the tens of thousands of pounds in trenches to rot. Five percent of the country’s milk supply has been dumped, and it could rise to ten percent with the continued closure of schools, restaurants and hotels.

The massive economic devastation that is unfolding will be exploited by the Trump administration to agitate for a return to work, creating conditions in which those who are unable to find work or refuse to endanger their lives are cut off from unemployment and other aid.

The working class, however, will have its say. Over the past several days, worried comments have begun to appear on the likelihood of mass social unrest.

Bloomberg editorial board member Andreas Kluth warned Saturday that the pandemic will lead to “social revolutions,” which the ruling elites must be prepared to confront.

Kluth explains that countless Americans simply do not have the option to stay home to avoid the coronavirus, putting them at risk of getting sick or infecting their families. He notes that the situation is even worse for the millions who live in slums in countries like South Africa and India, where social distancing is not an option, handwashing is impossible without running water and there are no emergency supplies of face masks.

“In this context, it would be naïve to think that, once this medical emergency is over, either individual countries or the world can carry on as before. Anger and bitterness will find new outlets… In time, these passions could become new populist or radical movements, intent on sweeping aside whatever ancien régime they define as the enemy.”

Capitalism is being exposed to a degree without precedent in modern history. Workers must draw the lessons. A system that funnels trillions to a handful of financial parasites while condemning millions to poverty and death must be swept aside.

Niles Niemuth