​​​​​​​Security Council warns of catastrophe, calls for action quickly

David Paisley, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, said the world is facing not only a "global health pandemic, but also a global humanitarian catastrophe."

During a video session of the Security Council, entitled "Protecting Civilians from Hunger Caused by Conflict," which is the first open session of the Council since the start of the spread of Covid-19, Mr. David Paisley said that the global spread of Covid-19 resulted in "the worst humanitarian crisis since the World War The second, "he touched upon the exacerbation of crises, the recurrence of natural disasters and changing weather patterns, saying" We are already facing a severe storm."

135, million face hunger levels

He said that millions of civilians living in countries affected by conflict, including many women and children, face a real and very serious risk of starvation.

He warned that 300,000 people could die of hunger every day and over the course of 3 months if we were unable to deliver aid to them, adding that 135 million people are facing levels of hunger or worse, along with an additional 130 million people on the brink of starvation due to Coronavirus outbreak, noting that the World Food Program is currently providing assistance to nearly 100 million people instead of about 80 million just a few years ago.

Above all, we need peace

Noting that the program is the "logistical backbone" of humanitarian workers and more so now regarding the global effort to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr. David Paisley urged the Security Council to take the lead.

Paisley said: "First of all, we need peace."

He called on all those involved in the fighting to allow "rapid and unimpeded" humanitarian access to vulnerable communities, while calling for coordinated action to support life-saving assistance, by providing $ 350 million, to create a network of logistical hubs to maintain the movement of humanitarian supply chains throughout the world.

Mr. Paisley also pointed to the need for early warning systems, saying: "If we don't prepare and act now - to secure access, avoid funding shortages and disrupt trade - we may face multiple famines of devastating proportions within a few short months."

The UN official warned that time is not on our side, calling for action wisely and quickly.

The link between conflict and food security

For his part, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Zhou Dongyu highlighted how the World Report on Food Crises for 2020 links clearly between conflict and high levels of acute food insecurity.

The report pointed out that 135 million people in 55 countries experienced severe food insecurity in 2019, nearly 60% of whom lived in conflict or instability.

He noted the link between livelihoods interventions and peace processes, adding that "coherent actions are needed between humanitarian, development and peace actors to address the root causes of acute food insecurity."

"The outlook for food security in 2020 looks bleak," said the UN official, stressing the importance of early warning and swift action to anticipate food insecurity caused by conflict. Stressing that widespread conflict and instability lead to food insecurity

The displacement movement has been the most active in 40 years

In turn, Jan Egland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, called on the Security Council to provide assistance with regard to field obstacles that impede access to the hungry living in conditions of war. And he said:

"During my forty years as a humanitarian worker, I've never seen many people displaced by conflict as it is now. We see longer and more severe conflicts causing increased hunger, as families flee their homes, fields and livelihoods to become dependent on the generosity of host societies, which are also experiencing risky situations. "

To mitigate the effects of the humanitarian situation in conflict areas, Mr. Egland made five "concrete requests," beginning with safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to everyone everywhere.

He also stressed the need for stronger humanitarian diplomacy to reach out to people and promote the principle of "avoiding conflicts," saying that by informing parties of protected humanitarian sites and aid convoys, humanitarian workers can provide support without being attacked.

Mr. Egland concluded his statement by stressing the need for there to be "accountability for attacks on protected sites."



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