The combination of COVID-19, persistent drought, and the invasion of locusts in Africa and the Middle East - all these factors can provoke restrictions on access to food for many millions of people. David Beasley, director of the World Food Program, says that humanity has never been that close to a pandemic of hunger that could take on the scale of “Bible Famine”.
Stanford University specialists conducted a study that helps to understand how these conditions, individually and in combination, will affect the social well-being of the inhabitants of the planet and economic development. The main consequence of coronavirus is associated with loss of income by ordinary inhabitants.
Each person has violated his own economy. Even if food prices do not change, a lot of people may be in a dangerous food situation. Already, there has been a trend when immigrant money in rich countries go to developing countries, becoming a source of income for certain segments of the population.
The second threat is related to reduced food supplies. But since their reserves are large, it will not come soon. Currently, there is a drop-in demand for gasoline. This is due to quarantine measures during the coronavirus period and to social distance. The main changes were outlined in the agricultural sector.
Many countries of the world attract migrants to periods of field work. Coronavirus deprived them of such an opportunity. It is likely that both sowing and harvesting will be significantly delayed. Some countries, such as Russia, have begun to restrict food exports.
This ensures the fulfillment of the domestic needs of the country, as supplies to importing countries can be significantly reduced. For example, South African authorities said they would not allow trucks to enter cities because of fear of the virus. But not only the restrictions due to COVID-19 will significantly affect the situation in the world.
Many problems that pass from year to year remain today. Diseases of livestock, insufficient rainfall, heat and drought all affect crop yields. This year, part of the planet will be covered by an invasion of locusts. Already, it is observed in East Africa. Scientists explain the emergence of a huge number of insects by climate change. Locust control will complicate an already difficult global food security situation.