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UN, WHO, WTO alert to looming global food crisis amid COVID-19

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The United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) yesterday alerted of global food shortage if the coronavirus pandemic is not properly managed.

A joint statement issued by Head of UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Qu Dongyu, Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Director of WTO, Roberto Azevedo, stressed that all hands should be on deck to checkmate the looming food crisis.

They maintained that in the midst of the COVID-19 induced lockdowns, concerted effort must be made to ensure that trade flows as freely as possible, especially to prevent food shortage.

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They stressed that it was time to show solidarity, act responsibly and adhere to common goals of enhancing food security, food safety and nutrition and improving the general welfare of people globally, adding that responses to COVID-19 do not create unwarranted shortages of essential items and exacerbate hunger and malnutrition.

Insisting that millions of people depend on international trade globally for their food security and livelihoods, they added, “As countries move to enact measures aimed at halting the acceleration of COVID-19 pandemic, care must be taken to minimise potential impacts on the food supply or unintended consequences on global trade and food security.”

The groups maintained that when acting to protect the health and well-being of citizens, countries should ensure that any trade-related measures do not disrupt the food supply chain.

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