Famine in the next decade
Over the past 3 years, global hunger levels have been on the rise steadily reaching over 820 million in 2020. Given the severe climate changes that we are subject to, and the ongoing civil crisis and political instability among countries. While climate changes affects all countries, and the political situations of most countries in the world is far from ideal, some countries seem to be getting the worst of both worlds thereby condemning such countries to prolonged famine.
Add to climate and political crisis, the countries discussed are very poor, sealing their fate as famine-inflicted countries with a very slim prospect of ever pulling themselves free of hunger. In this article, 5 countries that are currently facing severe food crisis, facing famine in the next decade, are discussed, and speculations suggests that the same countries could still be swallowed in famine and hunger even after a decade.
Perhaps one of the country that has been hit the most is Afghanistan. This country has received more than its share of conflict, war, famine and unrest over the past 25 years or so. To make matters worse, climate change has joined the pack as one of the forces currently undermining Afghanistan. It’s bad enough when you have to grow crops in the middle of civil unrest, but with the climate acting weird in the middle-east is making impossible.
In late 2017, Afghanistan endured its worst drought in decades, believed to have been brought by the aftermath of La Nin᷈a. In 2018, Afghanistan faced a severe shortage of rain, snow and sleet of over 70%, severely affecting the harvest by 60% below average for the country in 5 years. Although the drought is on the wane at the moment, experts are not ruling out the possibility of recurrence or even a much more severe drought. Indeed, Afghanistan is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change.
Unfortunately, it is one of the countries least equipped to handle such severe and harsh scenarios. With the looming possibilities of drought, avalanches, landslides and extreme weather together with conflict, civil unrest, and mass displacement – all of which do not seem like they will be solved any time soon. Afghanistan doesn’t look like a country that will be “famine-free” within the next decade.
Zimbabwe has been a long-time victim of drought, climate change and political instability. However, the situation was made worse in mid-2019 by the adverse effects of the Cyclone Idai further plunging the country into deep famine. The situation is yet to get better as the WFP reports that the maize harvest in 2019 was half that of 2018, and the cereal crops production less than half of the demand of the country.
The reports predicts decline in harvest in April 2020 and points out severe inflation in the country’s food commodities. For example, a loaf of bread now costs 20 times more than it did just half a year ago, WFP reports. In general, almost 8 million people (half the population) in Zimbabwe are hungry. With ongoing reports of shortage of rain during the farming season and projected declines in harvest, the country’s food security future is looking very bleak.
This is one of the countries that has been hit the most with natural disasters in the last 10 years. Since the country’s severe 2010 earthquake things haven’t really picked up from there. The country has since fallen into a civil crisis, suffered more natural disasters, and the aid to the country has been either mismanaged or couldn’t reach the targeted areas. Such factors have combined to give Haiti the highest level of hunger in the Western Hemisphere. At the dawn of 2019, it was estimated that 43% of the county’s population or 2.6 million people were food insecure.
The spiraling economic and political crisis are worsening what is already a bad situation in Haiti. With a 10 year anniversary since the devastating 2010 earthquake, the country seems much unprepared for another shock. If anything, it feels either like things have been stagnant or for some even got worse since the aftermaths of the earthquake. And the harsh reality is, even without a climate disaster in the next decade (which is unlikely) Haitians could still be in large, hungry.
At the moment, Zambia is facing a severe food shortage. Despite enjoying a period of peace, the country has been plagued by severe climate changes. In 2019, several areas in the southern and eastern province of the country had the least rainfalls since the country started keeping records in 1981. This has left the country whose farmers rely on seasonal rain to grow their crops, at the mercy of support from international organisations.
Furthermore, the country’s north provinces have suffered as a result of flash floods and water-logging, killing crops in the process. Approximately 2.2 million are at risk of starvation due to low rainfalls. The country isn’t equipped to deal with climate changes. The country does not have enough resources to maintain inflation, as already food prices are skyrocketing in Zambia. The UN estimates the number starved, undernourished Zambians could rise to 2.3 million in late 2020 and could keep going up from there.
Central African Republic
The central African country is one of the poorest countries in the world and high on the list for famine in the next decade. The country is yet to recover from political instability, ethnic violence and conflict since 2012 that severely damaged food production, leaving over 60% of the population in need of assistance and over 1 million displaced.
About 46% of the population is acutely suffering from food crisis, which is a 10% increase from 2018. The country has consistently been plague by famine since the early 2010s, and it doesn’t seem like the situation will change in a decade’s time. In 2019, the country hit its second lowest food production since 2026, condemning over 2.2 million of the population to severe hunger.
Food crisis is one of the major concern for the world now, and the future global food security is not looking bright. Climate change and political instability are at the top of the list for the major culprits of global food shortage. Over the past 10 years until 2015, the world had been steadily combating food crisis and suppressing hunger levels. However, since the year 2015, hunger levels have risen from 785 million to 820 million in 2019, severely hampering the United Nation’s zero hunger goal by 2030.
The countries discussed in this list, seem to be condemned to hunger for at least the next 10 years – not exactly according to UN’s hopes. The countries on this list, some of which are hard to reach to due to the ongoing civil unrest, making even aid impossible to get to the population. The UN’s zero-hunger goal is not an attainable, but rather a quixotic one as the biggest responsible factors such as climate change and political instability are largely unpredictable and difficult to control.
Check out more