One in nine people in the world goes hungry each day, and suffers from nutritional deficiencies as a result. Current estimates show that 957 million people across 93 countries do not have enough to eat.
The problem is not that the world is not producing enough food; but the people lack access to it. Many do not have enough money to purchase basic foodstuff and cannot grow their own. Also, the number of displaced people, who suffer from food insecurity, is increasing.
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), countries with the highest level of food insecurity also have the highest outward migration of refugees. The COVID-19 Pandemic severely exacerbated the food and water crisis, prompting a rise in food and fuel prices dramatically due to supply chain issues. It has also failed economies, as an energy crisis has brought on by forced lockdowns and closed borders.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has further complicated this problem. Sanctions against Russia, one of the world’s biggest producers of fossil fuels, have triggered the energy crisis, causing food prices to rise, too. Ultimately, the scenario has made it much harder on people already struggling to afford food.
Ukraine is also one of the world’s largest exporters of grain, which it has had to stop producing because of the ongoing war. Most of these exports were due to countries suffering food shortages. Together, Russia and Ukraine are also the world’s largest exporters of fertiliser. The war has caused a lack of supply, creating higher prices for farmers that ultimately translate to higher food prices.
As with food, there is enough fresh water for each person currently living on the planet. However, not everyone has equal access to that water. Issues, such as poor infrastructure, and displacement and conflict, mean that quite a huge number of people often have to use unsafe water sources, which can be considered as a health and sanitation risk. Nearly two billion people still use a source that is contaminated with human waste, and about the same number do not have access to adequate toilet facilities.
Source: Talk Diplomacy (Instagram)
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