Famine was formally declared on Monday in parts of South Sudan, which has been mired in civil war since 2013. Photograph:( Reuters )
As per the experts, 2021 can be one of the worst years human beings have seen in almost a century
The year 2020 — dubbed as the 'pandemic year' — has been one of the worst years due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Many have been waiting for this year to end so that they get a fresh start in the year 2021. However, experts believe 2021 will, instead, be “catastrophic”.
David Beasley, the Chief of the World Food Programme has raised concerns about the upcoming year and has warned people to brace themselves for a “catastrophic” humanitarian crises.
As per the experts, 2021 can be one of the worst years human beings have seen in almost a century. The year can bring in extreme starvation and famine, especially in the third-world countries.
Beasley sounded the alarm in the United Nations General Assembly during a discussion about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the world. As per the WFP, nearly 270 million people around the globe are "marching toward starvation" and the experts are predicting a famine.
"2021 is literally going to be catastrophic, based on what we're seeing at this stage in the game," Beasley said. He also pointed out lack of funds which has happened "because we've spent $19 trillion, that money may not, and will not most likely be available for 2021."
"We’re now looking literally at 2021 being the worst humanitarian crisis year since the beginning of the United Nations, and we’re going to have to step up," he continued.
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Beasley said it is not simply the pandemic which has led to this catastrophic situation. While the pandemic and the government-regulated lockdowns have brought a steep decline in human progress, the "man-made conflict", too, has played a major role in this situation, especially in countries such as Syria, Yemen, and South Sudan.
"We’ve got to end some of these wars. We’ve got to bring these wars to an end, so we can achieve the sustainable development goals that we so desire," he said. Explaining the situation with the metaphor of Titanic, he continued, "If we’re strategic and put the funds to these particular icebergs before us, I believe that we can get through 2021, while we work with the vaccines and rebuild the economies."
Earlier, too, WFP had warned governments about a possible spike of 80 per cent in people facing malnutrition by the end of the year. The organisation had warned against a "famine of biblical proportions" and had predicted death of nearly 1.2 million under the age of five within six months.