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Major WTO Countries Pledge to Keep Food Exports Flowing

Major countries involved in the World Trade Organization, including China and the U.S., pledged to keep from imposing restrictions on the free flow of food. 

Although a few countries have imposed such export restrictions, trade experts fear more food export bans could be on the horizon, which also happened during a global spike in the price of food in 2007. 

David Beasley is head of the World Food Program at the United Nations. 

He says famines of “biblical proportions” could take place because of the coronavirus pandemic if urgent steps aren’t taken. 

In a possible worst-case scenario, Beasley says famines could take hold in about “three dozen countries.” 

Ten of those countries already have more than one million people on the edge of starvation. 

A CNN report says Beasley appealed to UN member states to act now. 

“There are no famines yet,” he says. “But I must warn you, if we don’t act now to secure access, avoid funding shortfalls, and avoid disruptions to trade, we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within only a few months.”


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