Around 224 million people in Africa are suffering from undernourishment or malnutrition due to climate change and the conflicts that are associated with it. Conflicts that are associated with climate change have increased the level of food insecurity in Africa, an official in the UN food agency stated this in a statement on Monday.
Furthermore, the UN food agency through its official issued a warning that climate change and its conflicts will lead to more food insecurity for millions of people living in Africa.
The official from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) spoke at a conference on Africa, and during this conference, the official stated that the current crises are a “cause of concern” due to the fact that the population of the continent is increasing and it is expected to attain 1.7 billion by 2030.
Bukar Tijani, an FAO’s assistant director-general for Africa, said “Malnutrition has widely increased from about 21% to approximately 23% between 2015 and 2016” at the regional conference that occurred in Khartoum. He also said, “During the same period, the level of malnutrition rose from 200 million to 224 million in Africa. This is becoming a big concern for all of us.”
The effects of climate change and the conflicts associated with it across the continents have caused lots of havoc on lives and properties. Nevertheless, the increase in undernourishment and food insecurity is associated with the effects of climate change and natural disasters, Bukar Tijani later stated this to AFP.
“This is very strongly associated with climate change. We had floods and droughts and we also had crop failures” he also stated.
Tijani said that crises in Somalia, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic further increased the level of food insecurities. “When you take a look at these crises, you will notice that it has brought bigger challenges to people due to the fact that even when there is the availability of food, it is not affordable and cannot be reached in these places that are affected with conflicts.”
However, it is important to note that the UN officials have stated a warning that the increase in the level of food insecurity in Africa is displacing lots of people; this is due to the increased need of food which is the main cause of conflicts in certain regions like South Sudan.
More than a million people that reside in Sudan have become refugees and have migrated to other places as they flee from violence in the world’s youngest country that was formed in 2011.
On a positive note, Bukar Tijani stated that Africa’s economy is on the rise and that the continent is taking adequate measures to decrease the level of food insecurity. However, he has also stated that Africa has improved the food and agricultural market and it is estimated that this provision is expected to reach one trillion dollars by 2030.
Furthermore, the report stated in 2017 by FAO showed that, after many years of failure and deterioration, hunger is on the increase again and it has worsened in some parts of Africa such as sub-Saharan Africa, South Eastern, and Western Asia. The residents of these areas are suffering from hunger and malnutrition; this has called for lots of attention from other governments to tackle climate change and its effects to make the world a better place to live in.
Citing the occurrence of the effects of climate change in these areas, Leah Samberg, who is a postdoctoral research associate with the Global Landscapes Initiatives, stated from a study: “in this time, these regions are witnessing increased powerful storms, more frequent and persistent drought, and more variable rainfall which is linked with climate change that affects every part of the world today.”
However, it is also necessary to note that these happenings are not unconnected to each other. Most importantly, countries that have been affected by severe conflicts are more vulnerable to disasters that are related to climate change, and also crop and livestock failure due to the fact that climate change can offer social and economic unrest.
Nevertheless, as a result of climate change, several food commodities have risen in its price, thus, making it difficult for people in Africa to purchase. Poor South Africans interviewed for a recent report stated that there spend about 50% of their income on food, and have little to spare for other areas of their lives such as clothing, education, etc.
Climate change is a global threat and not in Africa alone. The effects of hunger are numerous, and thus, it also strips people off their dignity and perpetuates inequality. With these in mind, the need for other governments, individuals, and continents to come together in fighting against climate change is vital so as to save the planet that we all live in.