Food insecurity is a real and pressing issue worldwide. Globally, 828 million people suffer from food insecurity, and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warns that over 45 million people are “marching towards the brink of starvation.” On top of this, COVID-19 has caused a massive hit on the economy. Prices on goods such as food, fuel, and fertilizers have gone up, and inflation has remained a concern for many global economies.
Inflation is a concern as a risk to global economies according to respondents.
What causes hunger and famine?
According to the WFP, the hunger crisis is caused by four factors. The leading cause of food insecurity is conflict; in fact, about 60% of the world’s food insecure population reside in war-affected areas. Another factor is volatile natural disasters due to climate change, which also contributes to the destruction of crops, livestock, and lives. As mentioned before, the economic effects of COVID-19 are leaving families without sustainable incomes or the means to purchase food. Finally, inflation has caused costs to skyrocket; the WFP estimates that it would need $24 billion to aid 153 million people suffering from starvation in 2022.
The role of technology
With the food crisis clearly worsening, food aid cannot completely address the issue. In addition to humanitarian efforts, experts claim that we must invest in technologies to combat hunger. The only way to address food shortages is “through major technological and institutional innovations that help us to produce more food on less land and with less water,” says Chris Barrett, International Professor of Agriculture at Cornell University. An example of an agricultural innovation, says Bill Gates, would be “magic seeds” that are engineered to adapt to climate change and resist disease. The power of human ingenuity can combat food insecurity by aiding longevity and distribution of food.
What can we do?
During a time when funding streams are under pressure, humanitarian organizations are doing everything they can to address food insecurity, especially in global hunger hotspots. Demand is increasing day by day, and available resources are unable to keep up. That is why the support of humanitarian efforts should be emphasized with huge importance. Itiah Angels for Learning (IAFL) is working hard to meet the needs of our students in Haiti. The hunger crisis has been apparent in Haiti for a long time; in fact, Haiti has one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the world, with almost half the population malnourished. Food security is necessary for academic success and must be addressed worldwide in order to foster brighter futures for youth. “We need to focus on the children’s primary needs that will not be met with the food crisis expected,” said IAFL founder Marie Thadal.
Written by Kat Dinh