Egypt called, on Saturday, for urgent action to maintain food security in Africa to withstand the impact of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It came during a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York.
Egypt’s UN mission collaborated with the Canadian, Italian, and Brazilian missions to organise a high-level meeting to highlight the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus.
Present at the meeting were President of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, and senior officials from Canada, Italy, and Brazil. Also present were representatives of the UN World Food Program (WFP), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Mohamed Idris, Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said the meeting tackled food security, especially in Africa, and ways to take swift and effective measures to mitigate African suffering. This comes particularly amid challenges posed by the suspension of trade movement and transport, as well as the supply of the global food franchises.
Idris called for international action in support of Africa’s agricultural sector, and to secure food for its impoverished segments.
During the meeting, Idris referred to the Egyptian initiative, submitted through the African Union Office to the Group of 20, to deliver debt relief for African countries under the current circumstances. This would allow the necessary funds to be pumped into the continent’s agricultural sector, instead, to enhance the ability to cope with the crisis.
The meeting’s participants, who included representatives of several African missions and members of other UN missions, agreed on pushing forward international efforts in this regard.