The unabated climate change crisis that smiles currently might crown global hunger as a new order.
In 2021, and under the report titled The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations was observed to have published that:
“This year, this report estimates that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020 – as many as 161 million more than in 2019. Nearly 2.37 billion people did not have access to adequate food in 2020 – an increase of 320 million people in just one year. No region of the world has been spared.
The high cost of healthy diets and persistently high levels of poverty and income inequality continue to keep healthy diets out of reach for around 3 billion people in every region of the world. Moreover, new analysis in this report shows that the increase in the unaffordability of healthy diets is associated with higher levels of moderate or severe food insecurity.”
In 2022, the same report is noted to have said:
“The most recent evidence available suggests that the number of people unable to afford a healthy diet around the world rose by 112 million to almost 3.1 billion, reflecting the impacts of rising consumer food prices during the pandemic.
This number could even be greater once data are available to account for income losses in 2020. The ongoing war in Ukraine is disrupting supply chains and further affecting prices of grain, fertilizer and energy. In the first half of 2022, this resulted in further food price increases. At the same time, more frequent and severe extreme climate events are disrupting supply chains, especially in low-income countries.”
Based on logic, it can be inferred from the report that the menace of global food insecurity is increasing on a year by year basis.
Moreover, according to the FAO:
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (World Food Summit, 1996). This definition gives rise to four dimensions of food security: availability of food, accessibility (economically and physically), utilization (the way it is used and assimilated by the human body) and stability of these three dimensions.”
With the above said, one can notice that climate change is militating against all the factors necessary for food security. Factors such as poverty reduction, income equality, the prevention of conflict and wars, etc, are taking heavy hits as clearly fingered by a recent report titled Fueling Failure from the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The report revealed that, climate change caused by the use of fossil fuel has been wreaking havoc on the implementation of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of which the said factors are a part.
If the recurring monster in the form of climate change triggered food insecurity isn’t reined in, the world can expect hunger, birth defects, anaemia, lower nutrient intakes, cognitive problems, anxiety, aggression, etc. Also, it might bring to bear anarchy, hence threatening the core fabric of which most civilised nations are built, i.e., democracy.
To mitigate the problem, the world as a matter of urgency needs to:
*Address climate change
*Treat soil extinction
*Reduce food waste
*Improve trade policies
*Promote diversification in crop production
*Improve on crop yields
*Improve on seed viability
The measures listed above are not exhaustive, but form a part of a cluster of solutions that when considered would be of immense benefit to life as man knows. In reference to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, food insecurity threatens mankind’s physiological / basic needs. Implementing policies to curb the menace will result in continued self-actualization thus making the world better and stronger.
Hunger is felt by a slave, and hunger is felt by a king – African Proverb.
Reports found at: The State of Nutrition and Food Security in the World 2021 (https://www.fao.org/3/cb4474en/cb4474en.pdf ),
Fuelling Failure: https://fossilfueltreaty.org/fuelling-failure