A shocking UN report on the global food Security and nutrition for 2017 has revealed that the global hunger levels have reached the highest in the more than a decade, affecting eleven per cent of the world’s population.
The study conducted by the World Health Organisation, United Nations International Children’s Educational Fund (UNICEF) , International Monetary Fund and UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) revealed that 81.5 crore people were hungry last year. This is 3. 8 crore more than in the previous year (2015). Although famine had affected about 90 crore in 2000, different agencies under the UN had succeeded in bringing down the hunger levels until 2014 as a result of planned operations in South East Asia and African countries. However, the report ends with a warning that the dramatic rise in conflicts and wars as well as climate change and its repercussions have led to an uncontrollable increase in poverty since 2014 and that the international target to eliminate hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 is likely to become a mockery.
About 48.9 crore of the hungry 81 crore are living in countries affected by war and conflicts. While 52 crore reside in Asia, 24.3 crore are in Africa. The rest live in Latin America. Internal conflicts and instability is the main reason for poverty in countries such as Sudan, Somalia, Northeast Nigeria and Yemen. East Africa and South East Asian countries are also under the grip of poverty. The UN study reiterates that the rampant increase in conflicts and wars in the last ten years was the root cause of the rise in poverty and hunger. That is the reason that David Beasley, head of the UN World Food Program (WFP) described the latest figures as ‘an indictment on humanity’. He said that ‘with all the successes of technology and wealth’ we were moving in a direction opposite to that of humanity. He mocked the world leaders saying that hunger cannot be eliminated without putting an end to the ongoing conflicts and war. Zlatan Milisic, WFP’s deputy director said that it was not only about meeting need, but also ending the need and addressing the root causes of hunger. This also points towards the reason- the intensifying conflicts. He makes clear that the world should understand at least now the complexities of the conflicts and that working towards building peace was the way to eradicate poverty. The report released on September 15 in Rome shows through its findings that global warming was another key factor for the spread of poverty.
Despite the warning that the escalating conflicts and environmental encroachment push the world towards hunger, some countries that feign upright cultural standards are making frantic efforts to open new war fronts. Majority of those controlling the world today are those who find pleasure in bragging with pride, repeatedly about warmongering. The stance of political leaders of foiling the attempts to resolve the ramifications of climate change is a proof that even Hurricane Harvey that caused the largest destruction in the history of America, and hurricane Irma that led to large scale devastation cannot shatter the arrogance and envy of people. The UN report once again reminds us the life lesson that peace and moderation are the essential elements of life and neglecting them will only lead us to more horrifying tragedies. Given that our political approaches and development mantras are echoes of conflicts and global corporates, our country too is not free from the brutal clutches of hunger. According to the Global Hunger Index (GHI), India ranks 97 among the 118 developing countries. The UN report indicates that it’s high time an alternate policy based on empathy and love towards fellow beings, was formed, to save the poor and the hungry from the crisis by putting an end to corruption, political decay and hate campaigns.