Italian FM calls for ensuring humanitarian access to crisis zones

Lugi Di Maio, Italian Foreign Minister

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Wednesday called on developed countries to take steps to ensure humanitarian access to crisis zones.

He made the remarks at special ministerial talks which were attended by representatives from the Group of 20 (G20) countries and organised in collaboration with the Rome-based World Food Program (WFP).

The coronavirus crisis shed light on the need for wealthy countries to take steps to help those in need in poor and developing countries, said the minister from the southern Italian city of Brindisi.

The coronavirus pandemic could add another 100 million people to the global ranks of the hungry and malnourished, he said.

"One of the first steps to building a better world is to make sure everyone is fed," the minister added.

WFP Executive Director David Beasley said via social media that the world has "a window of opportunity to prevent famine, mass migration, and destabilization."

Beasley also called for wealthy countries to dedicate more resources to the effort.

In the "Matera Declaration," a joint statement released Tuesday at the end of a G20 foreign and development ministers meeting, the world's 20 biggest economies said they "recognize that poverty alleviation, food security, and sustainable food systems, are key to ending hunger, encouraging social cohesion and community development, reducing socio-economic inequalities both between and within countries..."

The talks represented an important phase of the process for rethinking the global economic system to help it better withstand blows like the one from the coronavirus pandemic, said Roberto Race, co-founder of think tank Competere.

"This is just a first step but there are some promising signs," Race told Xinhua, expressing hope that the meeting would represent a "relaunch for multilateralism" after the impacts of the pandemic.

"Ministers highlighted many important priorities," said Gian Franco Gallo, a political affairs analyst with ABS Securities.

"But the only way for an ambitious meeting like this one to make a difference will be: the promises and goals are followed by concrete action. We will know the value of the meeting only in the coming months or years," Gallo told Xinhua.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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