Parts of East Africa and South Asia were already facing severe food shortages caused by drought and the worst locust infestations for decades - long before the pandemic hit
The United Nations (UN) has warned that the world is at risk of widespread famines "of biblical proportions" caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report, it is estimated that the number suffering from hunger could go from 135 million to more than 250 million, reports the BBC.
David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme (WFP), said urgent action was needed to avoid a catastrophe.
WFP said 10 countries are at most at risk of it and are affected by conflict, economic crisis and climate change.
The fourth annual Global Report on Food Crises highlighted Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Nigeria and Haiti.
More than 60 percent of the population was affected by food crisis last year in South Sudan, the report said.
Parts of East Africa and South Asia were already facing severe food shortages caused by drought and the worst locust infestations for decades - long before the pandemic hit.
Addressing the UN Security Council during a video conference, Beasley said the world had to "act wisely and act fast".
"We could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months," he said.
"The truth is we do not have time on our side."
In a call to action, he added: "I do believe that with our expertise and our partnerships, we can bring together the teams and the programmes necessary to make certain the Covid-19 pandemic does not become a human and food crisis catastrophe."
Just recovered from Covid-19, the WFP chief began his Security Council briefing by saying: "excuse me for speaking bluntly.There is no blunting what could happen in a world facing - even before this global health crisis - what David Beasley called the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the Second World War."
In an interview, he also expressed fear that 30 million people, and possibly more, could die in a matter of months if the UN does not secure more funding and food.
His blunt warning: "One way or another, the world will pay for this."
"Better to work together, on the basis of facts, not fear."
WFP's senior economist Arif Husain said the economic impact of the pandemic was potentially catastrophic for millions "who are already hanging by a thread".
"It is a hammer blow for millions more who can only eat if they earn a wage," he said in a statement.
"Lockdowns and global economic recession have already decimated their nest eggs. It only takes one more shock - like Covid-19 - to push them over the edge. We must collectively act now to mitigate the impact of this global catastrophe."
Earlier this month, this WFP said it was set to halve aid to parts of war-torn Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels due to a funding crisis. It said some donors had stopped their aid over concerns that deliveries were being obstructed by Houthi forces.
The WFP feeds more than 12 million Yemenis a month, 80 percent of whom are in areas controlled by Houthi forces. Yemen confirmed its first case of Covid-19 earlier this month, with aid agencies warning that the disease could quickly overwhelm the country's weakened health systems.