GUYANA’S PRESIDENT has made another plea for more attention to be given to food security

By Liz Myke Published on September 22, 2022
GUYANA’S PRESIDENT has made another plea for more attention to be given to food security

GUYANA’S PRESIDENT IRFAAN ALI has made another plea for more attention to be given to food security.

On Wednesday Ali said a new approach is needed to guarantee food security, access to health care and quality education, and security from conflict and wars.

Addressing the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Ali said we are living in a troubled world which has lost its balance.

 “Indeed, our collective actions, as leaders today, will convey to the next generation that their aspirations, their future, and that of the planet are worth fighting for,” he said, noting that the international community is facing a series of interlocking challenges, ranging from a global pandemic, climate challenges, energy and food crises and inter-State conflicts.

Ali said as a consequence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, approximately 97 million more persons are living on less than US$1.90 per day, significantly increasing the global poverty rate and inequalities.

“The developing world lost revenues and income that were earmarked for the achievement of many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pushing us further away from our 2030 targets,” he told the UNGA, noting also that a UN Report in March 2022 spoke definitively to the unequal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and its impact on widening the economic impact between the rich and poor.

Ali said that the study found that low-income countries could have increased their gross domestic product (GDP) by US$16.7 billion in 2021 if they had a similar vaccination rate as high-income developed countries.

He said in order to deal with this inequality, Guyana is of the opinion that there must be an immediate re-examination of the financing gap and the debt portfolio of the developing countries to open fiscal space and create an opportunity for recovery, bridging the gap and attaining the SDG goals.

“Guyana welcomes the global initiatives around pandemic preparedness. It is imperative that we collectively discuss how to address any potential pandemics and health threats so that we are better equipped in the future to avoid the inequalities that exist.”

Ali, who has led responsibility within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping for agriculture told the international community that the global food security problem has disproportionately affected the world.

“The prevalence of moderate and severe food insecurity trended upwards since 2014, with the estimated increase in 2020 equalling that of the previous five years combined,” he said, noting that in 2020, an estimated 2.37 billion of the world’s population were food insecure.

Ali said that the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned that acute food insecurity would worsen in 20 hunger hotspots between June and September last year.

Liz Myke

Liz Myke

Reporter

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