he progressive impact of climate change on agriculture is likely to lead to a severe decline in food production. Climate change could put 63 million more people at risk of hunger by 2020

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8 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 9 μήνες)

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Hunger


The 2011 World Disasters Report of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies
1

focuses on hunger and malnutrition
, and
raises a fundamental question:
why
do so many
people go to bed hungry each night, despite the
fact that

world

food

produ
ction

is
sufficient to feed
everyone
? Among the causes of hunger the report cites increasing inequalities,
lack of investment in agriculture,
the fact that food and land have become tradable commodities,
climate change, volatile fuel pric
es,
financial
speculation

and excessive corporate power in the
food system
.

It highlights the role of poverty, which puts available food beyond the reach of
many, and is the biggest single reason for undernutrition. It addresses the importance of
smallho
lders in dealing with the question of hunger.


Concern about food must also include a look to the future. World population may reach 10
billion by 2060. The United Nations warns that a 70% increase in food production over current
levels will be required t
o meet nutritional needs. At the same time everything needed to produce
this food is already under severe pressure


water, land, soil, nutrients, oil, technology, skills, fish,
finances and climate. There are no easy solutions, with an estimated one bil
lion people suffering
hunger and acute malnutrition, and another billion suffering varying degrees of malnutrition not
defined as hunger. Further reflection can help us understand a bit more clearly some of the
reasons for food insecurity:


Internationall
y:


Seventy
-
five developing countries are net importers of food, so price is critical to food
stability, as two billion people spend 50
-
70% of their income on food. As poor countries are
forced to open their markets due to controversial World Trade Organi
zation regulations, richer
countries, using protectionist policies at home, export their heavily subsidised food. In addition,
t
he progressive impact of climate change on agriculture is likely to lead to a severe decline in food
production. Climate change
could put 63 million more people at risk of hunger by 2020
.
2

Increases
in global temperatures, due primarily to fossil fuel dependency, is more severely impacting the
poor. Many developed countries are initiating ‘food
-
for
-
fuel’ policies to lower their ca
rbon output.
This provides for energy needs at the expense of land needed to provide food for human
consumption. Between 1979 and 2009 the share of overseas development aid to agriculture fell
from 18% to 4%.


Nationally:

If you cannot produce, buy or be
g your food, you starve. In conflict situations these factors
are exacerbated. Increasingly land is being purchased by companies and foreign governments,
for profit and food security for their own people. This phenomenon is known as ‘land grabbing’.
With less arable land available, women are impacted most. They are the principal producers of
food in the developing world, owning only 10%
-
20% of the farms.

Unsustainable practices
-

use
of water for irrigation, the loss of topsoil and the use of chemi
cals and artificial fertilizers
-

are
combining to drive down production and increase food insecurity. Regulatory food stocks have
been abandoned due to neoliberal policies, and have contributed to food price increases in times
of crisis.




1

2011 World Disasters Report of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, pag 48. at

http://www.ifrc.org/Page
Files/89825/307000
-
WDR
-
2011
-
FINAL
-
email
-
1.pdf

2

Kanayo F. Nwanze (IFAD President) The Links Between Food Security And Climate Change (November 2009), at
http://www.countercurrents.org/nwanze
111109.htm

written by
Br.

G
earóid Francisco Ó Conaire ofm