If I were to add one more factor that would cause a threat to the world peace would be – food.
The Gleneagles Summit held around three years ago initiated the world to the need to focus on long-overdue attention on Africa. Promises were made and gave the people of Africa a new hope. Looking forward and taking into consideration of the year 2008, when world leaders gathered at United Nations (UN) headquarters to study the progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals, the first and the prior focuses was on poverty under the title “halve world poverty and hunger.” However looking at the current problems we are facing makes me wonder, How far have we come toward ending the pervasive embarrassment of hunger that haunts so much of sub-Saharan Africa?
A recent awareness regarding the problems faced by Horns of Africa was held in Bhutan was an eye-opener for me or rather one way of measuring. The speaker from Ethiopia gave a brief picture of Africa food crisis and what is the real cause of the food crisis and how is it different from the other food crisis faced by the Africa. It came to my notice that at least 16 million people (including 3 million children) are in urgent need of food and other humanitarian aid across the Horn of Africa. This food crisis resulted due to crippling drought, the impact of soaring food and fuel prices and continuing of armed conflict in certain places in Africa.
Causes and consequences
It surprised me, to know that in Ethiopia alone, 6.4 million currently require emergency food with no signs of new harvest in sight in some areas until next spring - as told by the speaker. Thousands of children are still being treated for severe acute malnutrition. An on additional to that even worse crisis has been luckily been avoided, because another 8 million Ethiopians were already able to receive cash or food vouchers under an innovative government safety net program.
Most people upon hearing this would often hit the mental rewind button and flashback to recall previous hunger crises in Africa. However, what is happening today in the Horns of Africa is fundamentally different from Ethiopia’s classic, largely man-made famine in the year 1984.
Instead it projects and shows us a glimpse of how our world would be like if we do not act effectively with the huge challenges of rising food and fuel prices, environmental stress and population pressures and climate change. Great countries holding power could also be threatened and pushed to the margins of survival by this crisis. And without any doubt, millions of people will go hungry and will most certainly affect our own, not least through further political instability.
Look around you, if you still fail to notice the price rise in food products. Then visit the local 7 -11 store and statically study the price rise of simple food product like mama (instant noodle), previously the cost of mama was 12 baht but now it is 13 baht. Across the globe, the effects of sharply rising food prices are being observed. Rapid urbanization, increasing population growth and changing consumption patterns are driving factor for rise in price.
In developing countries around the world, it has been observed that the basic food staples have become unaffordable to many people. In some parts of Ethiopia, local food prices have shot up 500 % in the time gap of just one year.
Worst affect would be those that are hit by the triple disaster of drought, food prices out of range of their incomes, and the devastating effects of conflict. It has been seen in Ogaden, the Somali region of Ethiopia where due to the failure of the main spring rains for the third successive year has left hundred thousands of citizen facing the worst drought since the year of 1928.The conflict between certain states in Africa has already made it much harder for the largely pastoralist population to sell their animals...