UN Secretary-General: Global hunger levels at new high, more than 500,000 people living in famine – Xinhua English.news.cn

UN Secretary-General: Global hunger levels at new high, more than 500,000 people living in famine

On May 18, local time, a ministerial meeting on global food security was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. US Secretary of State Blinken presided over the meeting, and UN Secretary-General Guterres briefed foreign ministers on the latest situation.

Guterres said that the current level of global hunger is at a new high. In just two years, the number of people with severe food insecurity has doubled, from 135 million before the pandemic to 276 million today. More than half a million people are living in famine, an increase of more than 500% since 2016.

Over the past year, global food prices have risen by nearly a third, fertilizer prices have risen by more than half and oil prices have risen by nearly two-thirds, Guterres noted. Most developing countries lack the fiscal space to cushion the blow from these gains. Many countries were unable to borrow because the market was closed to them, and those that were able to borrow were charged high interest rates, putting them at risk of debt distress and default.

Guterres emphasized that the world needs to reduce market pressure by increasing the supply of food and fertilizers, and the food crisis cannot be effectively solved without bringing Ukraine’s food and Russian and Belarusian food and fertilizers back into the world market. Social protection systems need to cover everyone in need, and developing countries must have access to liquidity so that protection can be provided to everyone in need. International financial institutions need to step in through massive investment to prevent a global debt crisis. Governments must support agricultural production, and humanitarian action needs to be adequately funded.

Guterres said the United Nations is closely monitoring the outlook for global food security and urged the international community to take immediate measures. The Global Food, Energy and Financial Crisis Response Team is addressing the impact of the crisis on vulnerable populations, identifying and promoting solutions. Food crises know no borders and no country can overcome it alone. The only chance to lift millions out of hunger is through urgent and united collective action.

(CCTV reporter Gu Xiang)

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