World Food Program official: Epidemic could push 100 million people into extreme poverty

China News Service, Zhumadian, September 6 (Reporter Liu Peng) Between 70 million and 100 million people are expected to fall into extreme poverty this year as a result of the global COVID-19 epidemic, Said Maha Ahmed, deputy representative of the UN World Food Program in China, Wednesday. The World Food Programme is actively mobilizing resources to meet the food needs of more than 100 million people.

The 23rd China Fair for Investment and Trade in Agricultural Product Processing opened in Zhumadian, Henan Province on Saturday. “The epidemic has caused the global economy to contract at its fastest pace since the 1930s, and it is expected that 70 million to 100 million people will fall into extreme poverty this year,” Said Maha Ahmed, addressing the opening ceremony.

Maha Ahmed said the WFP estimates that the number of people facing severe food insecurity in the 79 countries where it has offices could rise by 80 percent, from 149 million before the outbreak to 270 million by the end of 2020, with every low – or middle-income country at risk.

“Addressing the growing problem of hunger requires the largest humanitarian response in the history of the World Food Programme to meet the food needs of more than 100 million people.” Maha Ahmed says the WFP is actively mobilizing resources to help and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable populations through interventions such as social protection, improved nutrition services and support for the food system.

According to Maha Ahmed, the WFP and China share a common goal of reducing food insecurity and poverty. “Developing countries face challenges in their economic and social systems, including feeding their growing populations, reducing poverty and coping with the impacts of climate change,” he said. “They need to achieve sustainable development with the help of skills and technologies to ensure food security and reduce poverty.”

Sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China and the People’s Government of Henan Province, the China Agricultural Product Processing Fair for Investment and Trade has been a bellwether international conference in the field of China’s agricultural product processing for 23 years since its inception in 1998. More than 4,000 companies from around the world will attend the ciITac, with more than 30,000 business and professional visitors, officials said Thursday. (after)