Sad news, everyone: the world's getting hungrier and hungrier due to our own faults. Or would it be more appropriate to congratulate each and everyone of us for successfully making a huge leap on ruining our planet?
There has been a 10.6 per cent increase on the number of undernourished people from 2015 (777 million) to 2016 (815 million). That's a huge year on year addition of hungry people on Earth!
Moreover, more than half of those (489 million) reside in countries affected by wars. What's more fcked-up is that, research shows this becomes dramatically, increasingly in tandem with climate extremes like droughts and floods.
“There’s no doubt that there’s a clear interaction between climate change and conflict,” says author Marco Sánchez Cantillo at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. “They work together to accelerate and deepen the severity of hunger.”
This toxic combination has been affecting the humanity for a long time already. Conflict and food shortages in places like Somalia, Syria, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi, for instance, has been reportedly aggravated by the El Niño. Other places, on the other hand, like Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan associated similar crisis with flooding, landslides and cyclones. Combined, this caused a whooping 53.5 million people to have no constant and reliable access to food.
“This important report provides further evidence that climate-related shocks, especially droughts, exacerbate existing food and water insecurity, and can even contribute to social unrest when thresholds of resilience are crossed,” says Colin Kelley of Columbia University in New York. “In turn, conflict undermines resilience and dramatically reduces access to food and water, with devastating consequences for nutrition and health.”
“[This] can lead to competition for scarce resources and increase prices, setting up a vicious cycle that spirals down into more food insecurity,” says Cantillo. “We think the hunger uptick is a wake-up call, and things will get worse if we don’t act." And his key solution to this is to encourage techniques that can enable vulnerable populations to be more resilient to any climate shocks.
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