Hunger remains global shame

The international community needs to step up efforts to tackle hunger and starvation. According to the “Global Report on Food Crises 2019,” which was brought out jointly by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Food Programme and the European Union, 113 million people experienced acute and chronic hunger last year. Those suffering from such hunger were in around 53 countries, most of which are in Africa. Indeed, two-thirds of the world’s acutely hungry come from eight countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Thus, the world’s hunger crisis is a phenomenon largely limited to geographies experiencing war or civil conflict. In 2017, the world had 124 acutely hungry people. While the number of people falling in the acutely hungry category is not a small number. Worryingly, the number of such people has remained over 100 million for three years in a row. It is tragic that despite the benefits of biotechnology and advancement in farming methods, we are unable to free human society from hunger. The report identifies war and climate disasters as major drivers of the global hunger crisis. The eight countries that are bearing the brunt of acute hunger are all strife-torn countries. They are mainly agrarian societies. Civil wars prevent people from cultivation of land. It disrupts production and distribution of food. With militias commandeering the little food available, civilians end up chronically hungry. Climate change and extreme weather events are also taking a heavy toll. Afghanistan, for instance, has suffered drought for several decades now and this has contributed to hunger and starvation in a big way.

Governments need to be generous in supporting international humanitarian agencies, whether with food or funds. Stepping-up supply of food to countries worst-hit by the hunger crisis is necessary. While this will help ease the symptoms of the crisis, it will not address its underlying causes. The latter is necessary to address the problem of food insecurity in the world.  Humanitarian food aid is important but simultaneously, we need to put in place medium and long-term strategies to address conflict and climate shocks.

Suffering chronic hunger has long-term implications for mental and physical development of the individual. It impacts a child’s capacity to learn and reduces her immunity to disease. A hungry or malnutritioned child grows up to be a undernourished and anaemic mother, who in turn gives birth to a child with deformities. Hunger, starvation and malnutrition lead to a cycle of problems. This cycle can be broken by improving food production and distribution. We need to summon the political will to break the cycle of hunger and starvation.

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Liked the story?

  • 1

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 1

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry

Comments:

Hunger remains global shame

0 comments

Write the first review for this !