RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C — RTI International, a nonprofit research and international development institute, has two experts available to comment on the impact that COVID-19 may have on global hunger and food insecurity. The United Nations World Food Program recently announced that the number of people facing hunger globally could double by the end of the year, reaching a total of 265 million people.
The increase of people facing hunger could be due to several factors including loss of income for millions of families, increased conflict and immigrants working overseas not having earnings to send home, all exacerbated by ongoing challenges including climate change, violence and natural disasters. The World Food Program expects the impacts to be highest for countries across Africa and the Middle East due, in part, to the trading networks they rely on.
Paul Weisenfeld, Executive Vice President for International Development, leads RTI’s International Development Group, which designs and implements programs across a wide range of sectors in lower-and-middle income countries and communities. Prior to his career at RTI, Mr. Weisenfeld worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and directed the then-Bureau for Food Security. Mr. Weisenfeld can speak to initiatives and policies that could be used to combat a hunger crisis overseas.
Amy Davies, Vice President for Food Security and Agriculture, leads RTI’s global programs aiming to decrease hunger and improve economic and nutritional well-being. Prior to her time at RTI, Amy worked at USAID for 15 years and has experience working in humanitarian crises as well as on longer-term agricultural development programs. Ms. Davies can speak to global food security and the impact COVID-19 may have on global hunger.
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