Women carry sacks of food, airdropped by the World Food Programme, this past summer in Jonglei, South Sudan. — AFP/VNA Photo
NEW YORK — Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý, head of the Vietnamese Permanent Mission to the United Nations, on April 21 called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) and other UN agencies to make greater efforts to handle the vicious cycle of conflict and food insecurity, especially amid higher risks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quý made the appeal at the UNSC’s online meeting regarding the protection of civilians from conflict-induced hunger.
Apart from maintaining commitments to humanitarian aid, the UN and international community need to cooperate and support countries in post-conflict restoration, improving people’s livelihoods and maintaining food supplies, while taking comprehensive measures to build peace and ensure food security, he said.
Quý also proposed promoting women’s full participation in building peace and ensuring food security.
In his remarks, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu cited the Global Report on Food Crises in 2020 as saying that 135 million people in 55 countries were trapped in a food crisis in 2019.
This is the highest number in the last four years. Almost 60 per cent of all those people came from countries with conflict or instability, especially South Sudan, Yemen and Sahel.
Executive Director of the World Food Programme David Beasley pointed to a grim picture of 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse, coupled with an additional 130 million on the edge of starvation prompted by the coronavirus.
Miguel Vargas Maldonado, Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic that holds the UNSC Presidency in April, suggested coordinating the UN’s pillars of peace, security, development, environment and humanitarian aid.
Other delegates shared the view that armed conflicts have resulted in stagnant food production, destroyed infrastructure, and caused homelessness, humanitarian consequences and severe starvation.
They called on all sides to observe international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions of the UNSC, and proposed the council step up efforts to prevent and address conflicts and build peace sustainably. — VNS