An unprecedented number of Americans have resorted to food banks for emergency supplies since the coronavirus pandemic triggered widespread layoffs.
The demand for food aid has increased as much as eightfold in some areas, according to an investigation by the Guardian, which gives a nationwide snapshot of the hunger crisis facing the US as millions become unemployed
World risks food crisis in wake of Corona virus
The world risks facing a food shortage if authorities fail to manage the continuing coronavirus outbreak properly, the heads of three global agencies have warned.
As governments around the world are trying to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus by putting their populations in lockdown, international trade and food supply chains suffered a severe slowdown.
Panic-buying by people going into confinement 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 on Wednesday 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).
“In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdowns, every effort must be made to ensure that trade flows as freely as possible, specially to avoid food shortages” from developing, they said in the statement.
“When acting to protect the health and wellbeing of their citizens, countries should ensure that any trade-related measures do not disrupt the food supply chain,” the statement added.