Thursday, March 25, 2021

An admission of failure?

 Crises, conflicts, climate change and COVID-19 has resulted in a “rapid rise in hunger”, according to United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdullah.

“Humanitarian aid can never be enough to manage these cascading shocks that keep breaking down food systems and pushing people into food and water crises,” he said.

He also explained that no matter how much improvement is made in food production, it will all be futile unless the issue of water security is addressed.

“We can deliver food assistance but if farmers don’t have adequate access to water resources for food production, people will just continue being hungry,” he said. “And if people don’t have access to clean water, they can’t retain the nutrition they need even if we provide them with food assistance...In the coming decades, many regions around the world are expected to experience increased water scarcity driven by climate change and exacerbated by increasing competition for water resources,” Abdullah said.  “The battle for water will be one of the next ‘great challenges,’” he added.

Betty Chinyamunyamu, CEO of the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi, said the past decade has witnessed an “onset of weather crises” which have made it extremely difficult for farmers to plan their sales.

“Increased incidences of new pests, diseases and unpredictable weather patterns make it more difficult for farmers to plan their farm enterprises. So when they’re not sure whether they are going to have a flood or whether they are going to have drought, it becomes very difficult to engage in initiatives that would otherwise be very rewarding for them,” Chinyamunyamu said. 

Humanitarian & Food Aid Can Never be Enough to Manage Cascading Disasters | Inter Press Service (

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