Famine poses another threat to world in hard times

Amid the serious health emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19 in 2020, the world was hit by a famine crisis, a harbinger of another tragedy to the existence and development of mankind.

According to information available, 820 million people were starving worldwide as of late June last year.

The number of people in need of emergency food aid has risen by 80 percent compared to previously. The worst affected among them are 244 million children under five.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN noted that a child is dying from hunger every six seconds around the world, adding the famine issue is the greatest tragedy of mankind.

Ceaseless armed conflicts in many countries and regions and natural disasters caused by climate change are believed to be major contributors to the global famine crisis.

Especially, the armed conflicts going on in some countries are wreaking havoc on agricultural production and other economic activities.

The number of Afghans suffering from food shortage reached 16.9 million by November 2020, over 20 million people in Yemen where an internal war is going on for several years are facing famine and some 60 000 people have recently been famished in South Sudan due to the armed conflict.

As a result of climate change, severe natural disasters became ever more frequent and damage by swarms of desert locusts became unprecedentedly huge, worsening the food problem.

A great amount of crops was blown or washed away by typhoons and floods in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other Asian countries, and droughts and floods along with deteriorating economic conditions caused an unprecedented food shortage in southern Africa.

In Ethiopia, nearly 200 000 hectares of cropland was devastated by desert locusts and over a million people are suffering from food shortage. The Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa was struck by desert locust clouds for the first time since 1944 while many crops were damaged in Iran, India, Uzbekistan and other Asian nations.

Experts assert that the famine crisis is worsening to the utmost as armed conflicts and natural disasters caused by climate change have continuous adverse effects on agricultural production, expressing concern over the poor prospects of its solution.