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Tuesday October 26, 2021

The hungry planet

July 12, 2021

According to the poverty watchdog group Oxfam, around the globe 11 people die every minute as a result of hunger. This is six times more than the case in the previous year. Covid-19 itself killed seven people a minute around the globe, but the impact of hunger has been underestimated for years and continues to remain merely a figure rather than a recognition of the very real suffering of people, notably in areas of conflict. These include Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, among other countries.

At the present time, 155 billion people on the globe live in a situation where they face food insecurity. This is a larger number than in the previous year, when the Covid-19 pandemic was not a factor – and Oxfam warns that the emergency situation needs to be tackled. Despite the crisis, $51 million were spent on defence and on purchasing weapons even though this amount could have gone to combating hunger instead, as an enemy of mankind everywhere on the planet. It is also a fact that children and women suffer most acutely when there is hunger.

The problem is one that has not been treated as gravely as should have been the case. The world’s richest countries continue to waste large amounts of food. There are also other steps which could be taken to distribute food more equitably, as Oxfam has noted consistently in numerous reports. The current situation is simply unacceptable. People in this day and age, where technology and other advances have changed the world, should not be dying of hunger. Even one person being killed because he or she has too little to eat is not acceptable and should not be a figure that we see in reports. Eleven is far too many, and contributes to immense misery within households. The situation has to change. It can change only if the whole world takes notice of the problem and works with organisations as well as governments to alter the situation that families face and perhaps most crucially of all bring an end to conflict which worsens the situation for so many people suffering as a result of this warfare. This issue is an important one and deserves to be taken note of by world leaders before it creates a still bigger crisis in countries around the globe – and we find ourselves in the midst of something resembling post-apocalyptic films.