265 Million People Could Face Hunger in 'Unprecedented' Crisis, World Food Program Expert Warns

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The world does not currently have a shortage of food

, but global food supplies are at risk of running low if farmers are not able to plant in time or receive fertilizer and other inputs in the coming months.

“This is why we need to treat the agricultural sector as an essential sector like health care workers,” Husain says. Farmers in countries like India and the Philippines are struggling to recover from the losses they suffered when strict lockdowns were imposed. Several countries, including Russia, restricted exports of key food commodities at various points in the pandemic, but Husain cautions against trade barriers and urges countries to work together on trade policies when it comes to food.

“We need to make sure that countries don’t use artificial barriers like export bans or import subsidies because when they do that, particularly in this environment, when the purchasing power is so severely depressed, they create artificial [price] hikes. They create panic buying,” Husain says. “Starving your neighbor is never a good policy.”

 

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