Rising prices afflict global food security… Hunger is a ticking time bomb
According to experts, there are 3 main reasons for the spread of hunger in the world, which are conflicts, global warming, and economic crises that have been exacerbated by the outbreak of the Corona virus.
According to the indicators of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the prices of basic foodstuffs rose by 30% in one year. This rise is added to the health crisis facing the world, which is causing inflation that threatens mainly a third of the world’s population, who are already food insecure.
Mathilde Girard says in a report in the newspaper “Le Monde” (lemondeFrench, that food prices in the world have risen in a way that has not happened in 10 years, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced in its monthly report in November that these prices have reached levels that are the highest since July 2011.
This indicator, which is based on a study of the state of global markets and the prices of basic materials such as grains, sugar, meat, milk and its derivatives, showed an increase of more than 30% in just 12 months, and this raises experts’ fears of a long-term economic and food crisis, at a time when the world is still struggling to get out. Due to the Corona pandemic, many countries are forced to continue imposing health measures and restrictions.
The author warns that this food price inflation comes at a time when about a tenth of the world’s population suffers from starvation, and about a third of the population is food insecure, meaning that they do not have the opportunity to obtain adequate nutrition on a regular basis.
Hunger..a time bomb
In addition to the job losses and income sources affected by the Corona virus crisis, food price inflation is creating a time bomb called hunger.
Valentin Prochard, an activist in the Earth Solidarity Association in France, says, “The red lights went out, and we are now in a state of emergency because the rates of hunger have clearly increased and the issue of food insecurity has become present in the north of the globe, not only in the south, as the rural population They suffer from fragile conditions and lack the state’s support in light of their suffering from the Corona pandemic, and therefore there is a crisis within the crisis that is about to form in these countrysides.
The writer explains that the reasons for the rise in food prices are mainly due to the increase in the cost of energy since 2020, and the cost of fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture.
In recent years, climatic disasters related to global warming, such as droughts and floods, have increased. In addition, an increasing number of farmers are turning to a new option represented in agriculture directed at generating energy, instead of growing foodstuffs.
The crisis of animal and agricultural production
Behind every raw material, there are many factors that affect productivity, and the wheat sector saw poor harvests in North America during 2021.
The global production of palm oil also declined significantly, due to the scarcity of labor in Malaysia, which led to an increase in the cost of vegetable oils by 9.6% between last September and October.
Sugar cane production was also affected by weather fluctuations and extreme cold waves in the country of Brazil, which is the largest exporter of this substance.
The writer points to another reason that also led to the rise in prices, which is the disproportion between supply and demand during the epidemic period, as production and supply chains suffered from logistical problems or difficulties in finding labor.
And Rob Voss – from the Institute for International Food Policy Research – warns that rising prices are worrying because most of the world’s population is moving towards less expensive food options, which are often more harmful to health.
He adds that usually the focus is on grain prices when talking about food security, but today we find that there is also an increase in the prices of fruits and vegetables.
Population threatened with starvation
In order to calculate the exact cost of a balanced diet, William Masters and his colleagues at Tufts University in Massachusetts set standards that the United Nations has relied on to estimate that about 3 billion people on Earth, or 40%, do not have purchasing power. Sufficient to have a healthy and balanced diet.
And the newspaper quotes Nin Waring, an economist at the World Food Program, as saying, “There are 3 main reasons for the spread of hunger in the world, which are conflicts, global warming, and economic crises that have been exacerbated by the outbreak of the Corona virus.”
The expert adds that food prices play an important role in the worsening of this situation, as, for about two years, a significant proportion of the population has been forced to make concessions regarding its diet, due to job losses and reduced incomes, in parallel with the rise in prices.