(TMU) — 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.
Yesterday, I spoke to the United Nations Security Council on the significant effect that war and conflict have on driving hunger. Millions of civilians living in conflict-scarred nations, including many women and children, face being pushed to the brink of starvation. With COVID-19, I want to stress that we're not only facing a global health pandemic, but also a global humanitarian catastrophe – a HUNGER pandemic.By the end of this year, 265 million people risk being on the verge of starvation. While there are no famines yet, I warned UN Security Council members that if we don’t prepare and take action now, we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a few short months.I know this is very startling but if we act wisely, and we act NOW, we can stop this. The actions we take, as a global community, will determine our success, or our failure.Watch my address to the UN Security Council below.
Posted by David Beasley on Wednesday, April 22, 2020
“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.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.