UN identifies Haiti as one of 10 countries facing possible famine of ‘Biblical proportions’

Men catch a bag of rice as they unload a government food distribution, in a small section of the Delmas neighbourhood in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019.

Haiti is among ten countries being identified for a possible famine of Biblical proportions, according to a new report published by the United Nations.

According to the head of the World Food Programme (WFP), David Beasley, urgent action is needed to avoid a catastrophe. The report estimates that the number suffering from hunger could almost double from 135 million to more than 250 million, adding that the countries most at risk, are those affected by conflict, economic crisis and climate change.

The other countries listed in the fourth annual Global Report on Food Crises are Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Nigeria.

The report says that in South Sudan, 61 per cent of the population was affected by food crisis last year. It added that even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, parts of East Africa and South Asia were already facing severe food shortages caused by drought and the worst locust infestations for decades.

Addressing the UN Security Council during a video conference, Beasley said the world had to “act wisely and act fast”. He said: “We could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months. The truth is we do not have time on our side. I do believe that with our expertise and our partnerships, we can bring together the teams and the programmes necessary to make certain the COVID-19 pandemic does not become a human and food crisis catastrophe.”