Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Oxfam On the Food Crisis

One in ten people went hungry last year in the world.  

One in three people worldwide last year were moderately or severely food insecure, meaning they lacked reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food. 

828 million people were affected by hunger globally in 2021. The U.N. report projects that nearly 670 million people, or around 8% of the world's population, will still be facing hunger at the end of this decade.

According to the latest State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report, a joint publication of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF), the U.N. World Food Program (WFP), and the World Health Organization (WHO)—cited conflicts, climate-driven extreme weather events, and economic shocks as primary causes of hunger. 

This blog asserts it is capitalism to blame.

"It is deeply concerning that global hunger has been spiraling since 2019 and is now at such devastating levels around the world," Hanna Saarinen, Oxfam International's food policy lead, said. "This is happening not because of a shortage of food," Saarinen continued, "but rather as a consequence of a broken food system further undermined by conflicts, the effects of the Covid pandemic, and worsening climate change."

She added, "Despite this being a global food crisis, seeing millions of people going hungry today, food billionaires' wealth has reached stratospheric levels, increasing by $382 billion just over the last two years. Our food system has for years perpetuated inequality, impoverished small-scale farmers, and pushed millions of vulnerable people into hunger while wreaking havoc on the climate."

Saarinen explained that while "it is easy to blame today's food crisis" on Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine that began in February, "long-standing political failure to address how we feed all the people in the world has made our food system susceptible to fragility and failure well before now."

Saarinen warned that "we will not break the vicious cycle of hunger and food inflation without addressing the deep inequalities fueling them. We must fundamentally reimagine a new, more just, and sustainable global food system—one that serves the planet and millions of people, rather than a handful of big agribusinesses." 

Noting the dramatic shortfalls in pledged funding for anti-hunger initiatives in places like East Africa—where tens of millions of people are facing famine amid a historic drought—Saarinen said that "governments must stop making empty promises or creating more bureaucratic processes...They need to repurpose our global agriculture and food system to better serve the health of people, our planet, and our economies."

'Broken' Capitalist Food System Drives Soaring Global Hunger: Oxfam (

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