The report by the World Food Programme (WFP) warned that the threat of famine had increased dramatically over the past two years — from 27 million in 2019 to 41 million this year.
The UN agency has sought urgent funding and humanitarian access to those in need.
The report advocated “diversification of supply corridors” in Afghanistan, “mitigating over-reliance on existing corridors with Pakistan to avoid operational delays”.
It added that “water availability for spring and summer crops could also be limited due to reduced snowmelt in some basins”.
“I am heartbroken at what we’re facing in 2021,” said WFP chief David Beasley while describing the situation as “just tragic” because “these are real people with real names”.
According to WFP, 584,000 people are already experiencing famine-like conditions in Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan and Yemen.
Nigeria and Burkina Faso are also of particular concern as they have pockets where famine-like conditions are present.
“In Somalia in 2011, 260,000 people died of hunger – and by the time the famine was actually declared – half of that number had already died,” Mr. Beasley recalled. “We can’t debate the numbers to death when people need our help now.”
The report blamed conflict, climate change and currency depreciation for famine-like situations in many countries.
According to a draft report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), major crop production has decreased globally and climate change is predicted to impact yields throughout the 21st century, putting greater pressure on countries with a growing population.
Between 2015-2019, an estimated 166 million people, primarily in Africa and Central America, required humanitarian assistance due to climate-related food emergencies.
The report predicts that 7 billion people will be exposed to severe heat and an additional 420 million people subjected to extreme heat waves if the planet warms by two degrees Celsius compared to 1.5 degrees — the range laid out in the Paris Agreement.
The average global economic damage due to floods over the last several decades has averaged $50 billion (42 billion Euros) to $350 billion annually.
Extreme events combined with longer-term climate trends are pushing ecosystems towards tipping points “beyond which abrupt, and possibly irreversible, changes may occur.” The outlook for the world’s living creatures “is looking perilous,” the report makes clear.
From : pk.mashable.com