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World hunger may double as virus disrupts supply chains: experts

WORLD food processing giants Nestle Unilever, Danone and PepsiCo warned that chronic hunger may double from 800 million because of trade restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, especially in sub-Saharan Africa

World hunger may double as virus disrupts supply chains: experts
15 May 2020 - 12:13 - Update: 16 May 2020 - 12:52

WORLD food processing giants Nestle Unilever, Danone and PepsiCo warned that chronic hunger may double from 800 million because of trade restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

'There could not be a more important time in which to keep trade flows open and predictable,' according to a joint communique from the world food processing giants, reports Bloomberg.

The World Bank said agricultural output could fall seven per cent if there are trade restrictions, while food imports may drop 13 per cent due to higher transaction costs and reduced demand, it said.

While production is ample, transport and labour disruptions are starting to impact food security in many parts of the world, boosting prices of key staples such as wheat and rice.

Job losses are also reducing incomes, prompting governments to restrict various food exports to safeguard domestic supplies.

The letter urged world leaders to maintain open trade and ensure access to nutritious and affordable food to help prevent a global humanitarian crisis. Major food exporters must make it clear that they'll keep fully supplying international markets, the communique said.

Other proposed measures include supporting the most vulnerable, investing in local production and treating farmers and food workers as part of an essential sector.


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