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By shutting down the global economy to deal with COVID-19, political leaders around the world are creating a global famine on a scale never seen before.
Politicians and their medical “experts” are already making the case that the global quarantine and shelter-in-place restrictions were the reason so few have died compared to earlier estimates in the millions.
While we don’t know for sure how many would have died if the shutdown of economies around the world were not imposed, we are now getting a very clear look at the catastrophic pain and suffering the shutdowns have caused.
Shelter-at-home orders, travel restrictions, and the closing of business activity worldwide has brought a virtual halt to global trade making it extremely difficult to keep food being delivered to countries in desperate need. Those who were barely able to put food on the table for their families before the coronavirus shutdown are now rapidly running out of hope.
The result: David Beasley, head of the World Food Program, in addressing the United Nations Security Council on 21 April, stated the economic shutdown “could soon double hunger, causing famines of ‘biblical proportions’ around the world by the end of the year.” He added, “Millions of civilians living in conflict-scarred nations face being pushed to the brink of starvation.”
In Africa, where food shortages were already at dangerous levels, restrictive measures imposed by governments to fight the spread of COVID-19 have pushed countries past the breaking point.
Excessive fear of the virus was generated by a report issued by the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa released on 17 April, which claimed between 300,000 and 3.3 million Africans could be killed by the coronavirus.
At the time this excessive estimate of deaths was made, Algeria, the African country hardest hit, reported 348 deaths out of a population of 43.8 million. As of last Friday, on a continent with over a billion people, there were 1,297 deaths from COVID-19.
And yet, severe restrictions imposed by governments responding to the report have increased food shortages to the point that riots broke out in South Africa.
On 18 April, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to break up an angry group of citizens reacting to orders that keep them quarantined in cramped living conditions and forced to wait until needed food and supplies are provided. At the time of the imposed restrictions, not one death from coronavirus had been reported in the country.
In South Sudan, where food shortages already existed from a prolonged war, the economic shutdown made it virtually impossible to deliver food to a country with few good roads, forcing citizens to wait for bags of grains to be dropped from planes. While millions face starvation, not one death has yet to be reported in the country from coronavirus.
“We Are Dying not from the Virus but from Hunger”
From India to Honduras, riots and looting are increasing as citizens worry about where their next meal will come from. According to the World Food Program, the closing of schools around the world has caused over 368 million children to lose meals provided there.
In poor neighborhoods throughout Latin America, people are breaking quarantine restrictions and raiding supermarkets in desperate searches for food as political leaders impose more authoritarian controls in the name of protecting citizens from COVID-19.
In Honduras, large groups are taking to the streets to protest the curfew orders of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, which put hundreds of thousands out of work and created a huge shortage of basic food items. During last month’s protest, whereby transport workers blocked highways to the capital, one of the protesters told a reporter, “We live day by day and have no fixed income. If we don’t work, we don’t eat. My four-year-old daughter is asking for food, and I have no money to even buy beans.” As of last Friday, 47 Hondurans had died from coronavirus in a country of nearly ten million.
In Bogota, the capitol of Columbia, dozens of protesters surrounded the mayor’s office to demand the local government deliver on their promise of food and supplies in the midst of the strict quarantine. One protester told a reporter, “We look like skinny cows, we no longer have breath to walk. We are dying not from the virus but from hunger.”
As the global economic shutdown continues, agricultural production and supply routes will continue to suffer. This is unprecedented. Previous hunger pandemics were regional, not global. The causes were extreme weather, wars, political chaos, and, for the past year, the global slowdown, reported in detail in the Trends Journal.
But this hunger crisis is the first to be caused by political leaders purposely closing down the entire global system of trade and supplies, crashing oil prices, throwing tens of millions of people out of work, and creating the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.
We’ve Heard This Story Before…
In response to the hunger pandemic caused by the global economic shutdown, Takeshi Kasai of the World Health Organization stated that people have to expect a “new way of living until a vaccine finally arrives.” That will likely take over a year, if a successful vaccine is found at all.
Meanwhile, David Beasley of the UN’s World Food Programme warns that an “additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020 due to the economic shutdown.” To date, 211,000 have died from COVID-19.

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