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Societal

UN: The first coronavirus famines are in our doorstep

Four chronically-deprived conflict-ridden countries are in danger of experiencing widespread crisis which endangers the lives of millions of women, men, and children. The alarm was raised by Mark Lowcock, undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs of the United Nations.

Yemen, South Sudan, northeast Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have always been vulnerable to food-deprivation as humanitarian relief providers are typically unable to distribute aid due to the on-going conflict in these areas. With the threat of the coronavirus, these countries are pushed closer to famines.

It will be remembered that in April, David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program of the United Nations, said that amid the coronavirus pandemic is also a hunger pandemic as his office has projected devastating levels of hunger occuring in at least 25 countries.

Editor’s Note: While some politicians continue to push for prolonged lockdowns and mandatory masking in rich countries such as the United States and Australia, poor countries are faced with hunger and threat of violence.

This New York Times article reminds us of the warning issued by the United Nations in May [read UNDP: Human development to decline this year for the first time since 1990], which is now coming true. We are now experiencing the effects of a poorly-thought out solution.

The coronavirus “pandemic” has not only stalled our quest for a just society. It has also pushed marginalized communities to the edge – they may survive the COVID-19 disease, but hunger and war will cause their deaths. Are we truly returning to the Middle Ages? Will our self interest prevail over our natural propensity for compassion and empathy? Are reduced to purely material beings with no care for meaning, connectivity, and equality?

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