The reference News Network reported on July 27.Climate change and the COVID-19 epidemic have caused serious food shortages worldwide, the Nippon Keizai Shimbun reported on July 25. According to the United Nations, a total of 720 million to 810 million people worldwide were suffering from hunger in 2020, an increase of about 160 million over the previous year. Measures such as crop failures and export restrictions have led to high food prices and the number of hungry people is likely to increase further.
It is reported that the southern African island nation of Madagascar has suffered the worst drought in 40 years. According to the World Food Program, about 1.14 million people are suffering from food shortages, 14000 of whom are suffering from severe famine.
David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program, said: "although the region will not yet be the trigger for climate change, it has paid the highest price."
It is reported that in four Central American countries, including Honduras and Nicaragua, the number of hungry people has soared from 2.2 million in 2018 to nearly 8 million today. In November 2020, the area was hit by a series of hurricanes, destroying a large number of farms and houses and causing heavy losses. Countries such as Brazil and Argentina are also suffering from climate change, affecting yields of crops such as corn.
The report pointed out that the epidemic situation of COVID-19 is another important cause of hunger. In developing countries, a large number of people have lost their income or even lost their jobs as a result of the epidemic, while the social security systems in these countries are not yet adequate. Reduced flights and travel restrictions also make it difficult for food aid to reach areas in need. Russia, one of the world's largest grain exporters, has restricted the export of agricultural products such as wheat in an effort to curb rising domestic prices. The international supply chain is also in turmoil.
According to a report released by five United Nations agencies in July, the number of hungry people in different regions is 418 million in Asia, 282 million in Africa and 60 million in Latin America. Of these, 21 per cent of the African population is malnourished, twice as many as in other regions. The report warns that although the United Nations has set a goal of eliminating hunger by 2030, 660 million people will still be hungry in 2030.
The report further pointed out that food prices are soaring due to the tension between supply and demand caused by the bad climate. The food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations averaged 124.6 points in June 2021, an increase of more than 30 percent over the same period last year and close to the high of more than 130 points in 2011.