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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India slips 7 spots to rank 101 among 116 countries on Global Hunger Index

India has slipped seven places to rank 101 among 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index. It ranked fourth among South Asian countries, according to the Index that was released October 14, 2021.

Only 15 other countries ranked below India on the Index. These include:

  • Afghanistan (103)
  • Nigeria (103)
  • Congo (105)
  • Mozambique (106)
  • Sierra Leone (106)
  • Liberia (110)
  • Madagascar (111)
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (112)
  • Chad (113)
  • Central African Republic (114)
  • Somalia (116)

Bangladesh (76), Nepal (76) and Pakistan (92) have fared much better than India on the index.

In 2020, India ranked at 94 among 107 countries on the Index that is released by Concern Worldwide, an Irish aid agency and Welt Hunger Hilfe, a German organisation.

— source | Kiran Pandey | 15 Oct 2021

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Agroecology Is the Solution to World Hunger

Although it is the sharp edge of the battle to end hunger, you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching a reality TV cooking show. Under the low peak of Bwabwa Mountain in Malawi, in a village on a tributary of the Rukuru River, about 100 people gather around pots and stoves. Children crowd around a large mortar, snickering at their fathers’, uncles’ and neighbors’ ham-fisted attempts to pound soybeans into soy milk. At another station, a village elder is being schooled by a man half his age in the virtues of sweet potato doughnuts. At yet another, a woman teaches a neighbor how he might turn sorghum into a nutritious porridge. Supervising it all, with the skill of a chef, the energy of a children’s entertainer and the resolve of a sergeant, is community organizer Anita Chitaya. After helping one group with a millet sponge loaf, she moves to share a tip about how mashed soy and red beans can be turned into patties by the eager young hands of children who would typically never volunteer to eat beans.

There is an air of playful competition. Indeed, it is a competition. At the end of the afternoon the food is shared, and there are prizes for both the best-tasting food (the doughnuts win hands down) and the food most likely to be added to folks’ everyday diets (the porridge triumphs because although everyone likes deep-fried food, doughnuts are a pain to cook, and the oil is very expensive).

This is a Recipe Day in Bwabwa, a village of around 800 people in northern Malawi. These festivals are sociological experiments to reduce domestic inequality and are part of a

— source | Raj Patel | Sep 22, 2021

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Conflict and Capitalism Drive Global Hunger. COVID Made It Worse

With hunger growing across the globe during the pandemic, the United Nations is holding its first Food Systems Summit today. But the summit is facing fierce criticism for giving corporations an outsized role framing its agenda, with Big Food names like PepsiCo invited to fireside chats during a pre-summit in Rome. The U.N.’s own experts on food, human rights and the environment released a statement that, quote, “there is a risk the Summit will serve the corporate sector more than the people who are essential to ensuring our food systems flourish such as workers, small producers, women and indigenous peoples,” they said.

This comes as U.N. figures show the pandemic has increased the number of hungry people in the world by as many as 161 million, to 811 million, and nearly one in three people worldwide — almost 2.4 billion — lack access to adequate nutrition.

And it was bad enough before COVID. There were forces that were pushing up the number of people and the percentage of people around the world who were going hungry even before COVID. And driving that were climate — so, climate change has made farming much more precarious, particularly for frontline and low-income communities around the world. So, climate. We’ve got conflict. You’ll be talking later on about the U.S. complicity in the

— source | Sep 23, 2021

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Africa’s Twin Pandemics of Coronavirus & Hunger

Some 265 million people are expected to face acute hunger as the coronavirus crisis could trigger a second pandemic of hunger. The crisis is projected to disproportionately affect Africa, where there is already widespread hunger. This comes as the World Health Organization estimates the number of COVID-19 cases in Africa could rise to 10 million in the next three to six months. Ten African countries don’t have a single ventilator. “This is an extremely terrifying and frightening moment for the people of Africa. … We were already facing a major food crisis — that was before the coronavirus hit,” says lifelong South African human rights and climate justice activist Kumi Naidoo, former secretary general of Amnesty International and former head of Greenpeace.

Europe. So, when we look at the situation in South Africa, for example, the interventions that have been made by the South African government have really been to actually ensure, in the first instance, that we prevent deaths, but to actually buy time for when the pandemic peaks, so that during this time we ramp up on PPE, we ramp up on testing, field hospitals and so on. So that’s what’s been planned. Right now, as we stand, the level of loss of human life on the African continent, compared to Europe or the U.S., for example, is still painful, but, you know, like South Africa, for example, the number is still under a hundred deaths.

— source | Apr 22, 2020

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Aadhaar-PDS Link in Jharkhand Led to Exclusions

A new study has backed the claim by activists and media reports that Jharkhand’s decision to link welfare schemes, particularly the public distribution system, with Aadhaar led to genuine beneficiaries being excluded. A sample survey by the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab – which counts Nobel laureates Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo among its founders – has found that close to 88% of deleted ration cards belonged to genuine households.

Between 2016 and 2018, the state government had been cancelling ration cards of what it calls “ghost beneficiaries” in an attempt to stop “leakages” from the PDS system. According to the J-PAL study by economists Karthik Muralidharan, Paul Niehaus and Sandip Sukhtankar, the entire process did reduce some amount of leakage “but also led to non-trivial increase in exclusion error and transaction costs for beneficiaries”.

Requiring Aadhaar to obtain PDS benefits in Jharkhand led to considerable reduction in leakage, but also

— source | Jahnavi Sen | 23/02/2020

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2.5 Billion Lack Nutritious Food

The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a sharp increase in the number of people going hungry worldwide, along with conflict and the impacts of climate change. A new report, “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World”, on the state of food security and nutrition in the world found about one-tenth of the global population were undernourished last year, more than 2.5 billion people did not have access to sufficiently nutritious food, and one in five children now face stunted growth.

— source | Jul 15, 2021

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The hunger virus multiplies

A year and a half since the Covid-19 pandemic began, deaths from hunger are outpacing the virus. Ongoing conflict, combined with the economic disruptions of the pandemic and an escalating climate crisis, has deepened poverty and catastrophic food insecurity in the world’s hunger hotspots and established strongholds in new epicentres of hunger.

The worst is still yet to come unless governments urgently tackle food insecurity and its root causes head on. Today, 11 people are likely dying every minute from acute hunger linked to three lethal Cs: conflict, Covid-19, and the climate crisis. This rate outpaces the current pandemic mortality rate, which is at 7 people per minute.

Governments must focus on funding urgent hunger response and social protection programs to save lives now, rather than striking arms deals that perpetuate conflict, war and hunger. As equally important as stopping Covid-19 itself, is stopping it from killing more people through hunger. We need action to create fairer, more resilient and sustainable ways of feeding the world.

Click to access The%20Hunger%20Virus%202.0_media%20brief_EN.pdf

— source | 9 Jul 2021

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