Global health expert warns food shortages could be ‘just as deadly’ as a worldwide pandemic

A leading global health figure has warned the next worldwide health crisis could come in the form of food shortages, as the price of basic supplies skyrockets in even the wealthiest of nations.

Peter Sands, who is the executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, believes a food shortage could be “just as deadly” as an airborne pandemic if authorities fail to prepare.

According to Sands, after over two years of completely restructuring the world upon the emergence of a respiratory virus, governments now have to prepare for an even more complicated beast.

Australia is already beginning to see early signs of food stress as lettuce prices hit an incredible $12 per head in some areas following the flood season. Natural disasters, coupled with inflation and complications in the global trade industry, could produce a perfect storm as the globe begins to find its feet.

Sands, who works in areas already struggling with poverty and malnutrition, says wealthy governments risk making the “classic” mistake of concerning themselves only with crises that reflect the most recent disaster the world has faced.

“It’s not as well-defined as some brand new pathogen appearing with distinctive new symptoms. But it could well be just as deadly,” he said, via Reuters. Sands said governments needed to strengthen health systems to prepare for the health repercussions of food shortages.

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