What are food crisis and how many people are affected by them?
At least 155 million people are facing acute hunger because of conflict, economic shocks and extreme weather, a new report has found. The Global Report on Food Crises 2021 says the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the risk of severe hunger in some regions of the world.
The figure marks a new five-year high for global food crises, which affected 55 countries or territories in 2020. The publishers of the report issued a stark warning, saying “If current trends are not reversed, food crises will increase in frequency and severity.” In 2020, 20 million more people than in 2019 experienced acute food insecurity at “crisis or worse levels,” the report found. Around 133,000 people in Burkina Faso, South Sudan, and Yemen faced widespread death and a collapse of livelihoods in the most severe level of food crisis, classified as a ‘catastrophe.’
Developing countries in the stranglehold of debt.
The coronavirus pandemic and other aspects of the multidimensional crisis of global capitalism are enough to fully justify suspending debt repayment. Indeed priority must be given to protecting people against ecological, economic and public health disasters.
In the context of the current emergency, we have to assess longer trends that make it necessary to implement radical solutions to the issue of DCs’ debt. This is why we develop our analysis of factors that currently increase the unsustainability of the debt repayments claimed from countries in the Global South. We shall consider in turn the downward trend in commodity prices, the reduction of foreign exchange reserves, continued dependence on revenue from commodity export, the DCs’ debt payment calendar, with major repayments due between 2021 and 2025, mainly to private creditors, the drop in migrants’ remittances to their countries of origin, the back flow to the North of stock market investments, the perpetuation of capital flight.1 Payment rescheduling granted in 2020-2021 because of the pandemic by creditor countries that are members of the Paris Club and of the G20 only accounts for a small portion of repayments owed by developing countries.
Water Stress: A Global Problem That’s Getting Worse
Billions of people around the world lack adequate access to one of the essential elements of life: clean water. Although governments and aid groups have helped many living in water-stressed regions gain access in recent years, the problem is projected to get worse with the harmful effects of global warming and population growth.
Water stress can differ dramatically from one place to another, in some cases causing wide-reaching damage, including to public health, economic development, and global trade. It can also drive mass migrations and spark conflict. Now, pressure is mounting on countries to implement more sustainable and innovative practices and to improve international cooperation on water management.