Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, David Beasley, executive director at the UN World Food Programme, warned the world's food security conditions are "worse" than what was observed during Arab Spring over a decade ago.
Beasley said even before the Ukraine crisis. A global food crisis was already emerging. Now the crisis is the "worst humanitarian crisis since World War II."
"Just when you think the world food crisis couldn't get any worse well over a year ago, you had Ethiopia and Afghanistan, and then the breadbasket of the world [Ukraine] — just got the longest breadlines of the world — and so now because of this crisis, we're taking food from the hungry to give to the starving."
"What happens when you take a nation [Ukraine] that normally feeds 400 million people and sideline that … it's devastating to global food security," he warned.
Beasley said if you look at the economic conditions during the Arab Spring in 2011 — conditions today are "actually worse," which has already sparked social unrest in several countries
He pointed out that social-economic instabilities are already developing in Sir Lanka, Indonesia, Peru, and Pakistan, adding "that is only a sign of things to come."
There are "49 million people in 43 countries … and those are the countries that we need to be extremely concerned about because that will result in famine, destabilization, and mass migration — if we don't get ahead of this," Beasley said.
Last month, the Rockefeller Foundation, which has closely aligned views with WEF, provided a countdown of six months to when the "massive, immediate food crisis" would unfold.
Another warning from Beasley at Davos.
Kicking off #WEF22 in #Davos. With a devastating global hunger crisis at our doorstep, it is all hands on deck to pull millions back from the brink of famine. We need EVERYONE's help to save lives today: from world leaders to the private sector and billionaires!! pic.twitter.com/oAH1LApFSX— David Beasley (@WFPChief) May 23, 2022