Capitalism, COVID, Climate & Conflict Fueling Global Hunger

One person is dying of hunger every four seconds. That’s the warning from a coalition of humanitarian groups, who say global hunger is spiraling out of control. Oxfam, Save the Children and other groups say 345 million people are now experiencing acute hunger — double the number from 2019. Humanitarian groups from 75 countries sent an open letter to world leaders and high-level diplomats gathering this week for the United Nations General Assembly here in New York Ciy. This is the first U.N. General Assembly since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and a key meeting Tuesday focused on how the war is contributing to skyrocketing levels of hunger. This is the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Having just returned from Somaliland last week, I’m able to connect what we’re seeing in the lived, real lives of people and how they’re affected, and connect them with those global numbers you already outlined. Three hundred and forty-five million people are facing extreme hunger as a result of that confluence of climate, COVID and conflict — and that number, in and of itself, 345 million people, more than the entire population of the United States, and this in the 21st century.

Now, we know that we have been calling the alarm for several years. And we’ve had used our early-warning systems to trigger, to show — that have showed drought has continued to erode the lives and livelihoods of pastoralist and agropastoralist communities. Someone I saw in Somaliland, the stories were very similar. A woman named Safia, mother of eight, divorcée, who had stayed in her community as long as she could over the past several years, and ultimately went to a displaced persons camp near Burao called Durdur after she had

— source | Sep 21, 2022

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One in 10 US households struggles to afford enough food

One in 10 American households struggled to feed their families last year, with more than 5 million families missing meals and cutting portions due to poverty, new government research reveals.

Food insecurity in households with children is the lowest level on record, yet families still account for almost half of the country’s food-insecure households, with 2.3m unable to afford adequate nutritional food at times during 2021, according to the annual food insecurity report by the USDA.

In most circumstances, adults went without to ensure the children were adequately fed, but for 0.7% of extremely poor households there was not enough food for anyone. In the richest country in the world, children in 274,000 American households went hungry, skipped meals or did not eat for entire days because there was not enough money to buy food.

Inadequate nutrition can affect children’s growth and physical development, as well as their ability to thrive, play and learn.

Food insecurity remains stubbornly high in the US, with only a slight downward trend from 2021 – but significantly lower than 2020 when the Covid shutdown and widespread layoffs

— source | Nina Lakhani | 7 Sep 2022

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Global hunger numbers rose to as many as 828 million in 2021

The number of people affected by hunger globally rose to as many as 828 million in 2021, an increase of about 46 million since 2020 and 150 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic (1), according to a United Nations report that provides fresh evidence that the world is moving further away from its goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030.

The 2022 edition of The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report presents updates on the food security and nutrition situation around the world, including the latest estimates of the cost and affordability of a healthy diet. The report also looks at ways in which governments can repurpose their current support to agriculture to reduce the cost of healthy diets, mindful of the limited public resources available in many parts of the world.

The report was jointly published today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the

— source | 6 Jul 2022

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Liverpool food banks confront rising hunger

An uncomfortable silence fills the hall of St Bride’s church in Liverpool. In a few minutes, its doors will open to some of the city’s hungriest families. Between 250 and 300 people are expected at its latest weekly food bank, although it could be more. But there is little to offer them: only 150 parcels of food and a small pile of unwanted clothes.

For the first time in years, the volunteers have to turn people away. They look aghast. “That will last half an hour at best. What do we do then?” asks Julian Sowden, one of the longest-serving volunteers. “There’s nothing else to give them. We just stop? We just shut the door?”

The answer – “yes” – is met with silence. School holidays are approaching, says another helper, the church will be “inundated with people who can’t feed their children”. Nick Mendes, one of the trustees, asks in a plaintive prayer for God to “supply our needs”. Little more than an hour later, the food has gone.

This Liverpool food bank – and thousands more like it – are at the sharpest edge of a deepening economic crisis that has its roots in the Covid pandemic and in the corridors of power from Westminster to Moscow.

— source | Josh Halliday | 22 Jul 2022

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Poverty & Capitalism Are Real Drivers of Global Hunger

As experts warn of a looming global food shortage, on top of what already exists, we’re joined by two guests to look at what led to the crisis and what to do about it. In Heidelberg, Germany, Sofía Monsalve Suárez is secretary general of FIAN International, a human rights organization working for the right to food and nutrition. In Montpellier, France, Rachel Bezner Kerr is the coordinating lead author for the chapter on climate change impacts and adaptation of food systems for the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, their report titled “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability,” that was published in February, also professor of global development at Cornell University.

First of all, I want to say that this is not a food shortage crisis — not yet, not now. It may turn to it in a couple of months or next year, but not now. So, the problem is access to food, that people don’t have money to pay for food, that people are jobless. And as you know, we live in marketing economies, so we have to have money to have access to food.

So, this is not new. This is probably the fourth crisis in 50 years. So, these very fragile industrial systems, food systems that we have in place, are failing. They are extremely fragile to the climate crisis, to the economic shocks, to conflict. And this is the problem. So, therefore, this crisis has been long in the make.

It is due to the dismantling of public and communal institutions taking care of providing food; skipping support to peasant farming; to decentralized systems. So we put all our eggs into this corporate food system, where countries have to rely on long food supply chains, you know, on global trade. And when we see disruptions — COVID was one example —

— source | Jun 23, 2022

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Someone fleeing starvation is not considered a refugee

Afghanistan has faced a looming humanitarian crisis since the Taliban took control last August, with millions on the brink of starvation. The U.N. Refugee Agency says 3.4 million Afghans are internally displaced; another 2.6 million Afghans have fled Afghanistan as refugees.

Imagine right now if Ukrainians, instead of being allowed to cross freely into neighboring countries, into the EU, where they don’t require visas — imagine if they were being forced to cross the mountains and sea with smugglers and risk their lives just to escape this war. And that, of course, is the situation for Afghans, as it was for Syrians, as it was for people in most conflicts in the world. They’re caged in by these borders. They’re not able to cross freely without visas.

And when I went to Afghanistan this summer and fall, I went to the border with Iran and witnessed a new wave of Afghans who are displaced, who are fleeing their country, and spoke to a young couple there named Jawad and Shukria, who are the subject of this article that you mentioned, and they had decided to escape the Taliban and were facing this deadly journey through the desert in order to reach safety. And that, unfortunately, is the situation for Afghans.

— source | Mar 18, 2022

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Millions of Afghans Face Starvation

in Afghanistan where humanitarian and economic conditions are rapidly deteriorating. On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a video call with members of the AfghanEvac Coalition who said they need more help evacuating tens of thousands of people who could be targeted under the Taliban government and noted, “Winter is coming. There is a famine already.” The United Nations estimates 60%—that’s more than half of Afghanistan’s population—now suffer from acute hunger and the country faces a financial crisis after the U.S. and other Western countries cut off direct financial assistance to the government. Taliban leaders are also unable to access billions of dollars in Afghan national reserves held in banks overseas. The World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley told the BBC Afghanistan is now the worst humanitarian crisis on earth.

— source | Nov 16, 2021

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India is reeling under hunger

The 2021 Global Hunger Index (GHI) released October 14, 2021 came as a rude reminder that many people around us do not have adequate food to survive. The report has indicated that the world will not be able to meet the goal of zero hunger by 2030.

The findings of the report are of concern for India in particular, which was placed 101st among the 116 countries assessed. India is among the 47 countries most likely to not reach the zero-hunger goal, according to the report published by international non-profits Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe.

Despite improvement in the GHI score that decreased to 27.5 in 2021 from 38.8 points in 2000, India has the highest child wasting in the world that affects 17.3 per cent of its children. Wasting indicates the number of children under five years who have low weight for their height. It implies acute undernutrition.

The rate is higher than it was in 1998-1999, when it was 17.1 per cent.

— source | Vibha Varshney | 19 Oct 2021

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