Thursday, June 27, 2019

A Need for Change

Climate change added to warfare is worsening hunger worldwide, according to one of Germany's largest aid groups. Welthungerhilfe has said many poor have "no more reserves or resilience left" when hit by extreme weather. Hunger victims, often already cut off to outside help by conflict parties, no longer had livelihoods and sustenance as droughts, floods and storms wrecked their fields and eliminated their farm animals. 

The world's southern hemisphere poor were bearing the brunt of climate change caused by rich, fossil-fuel consumers of the global North, Welthungerhilfe President Marlehn Thieme said.

Thieme explained climate change amounted to a "question of justice" in ensuring that resources — still sufficient worldwide to feed everyone — reached the poorest. 

Citing Cyclon Idai, which in April ravaged Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, Thieme said weather extremes had become an additional "fatal link" hampering aid workers and restoration of communal nutrition.

Drastic declines in land and oceanic harvests amid rising average temperatures required answers in the form of early warning systems, weather insurance and drought-durable seeds, she added.

Coupled with warfare, in which conflict parties cut off "entire regions" from the outside world, extreme weather was a compounding factor, said Welthungerhilfe's Secretary General Mathias Mogge.  Citing as examples South Sudan, Congo and Niger, Mogge said villagers lost "their entire livelihoods." Resources like water and grazing land became scarce, leading to further conflict, in societies where people already had little to withstand emergencies.
"Schools and hospitals are targeted for bombing," he said, further preventing arrivals of aid supplies and making "working conditions for our staff" increasingly dangerous.
Welthungerhilfe's precept of "help for self-help" remained so people can "shape their lives in a self-determined way," said Mogge.

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