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In search for solutions to famine
October 10, 2017
JOHANNESBURG - The number of hungry and malnourished people is rising for the first time in over a decade.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, 815million people are affected, and there are frequent incidents of acute and widespread food shortages.
The UN recently warned that 20m people were at immediate risk of dying of hunger. The agency counted four countries at particular risk: Yemen, 10m; Nigeria (north east), 4m to 6m; South Sudan, 4m to 6m; and Somalia, 2m to 4m. A further 18 countries are suffering a high magnitude of food insecurity.
But emotion aside, are we sure that we really understand hunger and malnutrition, or what is known as food insecurity? What are the factors behind the numbers rising? Is it because of climate change, with more droughts happening? Is it over-population? Is it degradation of the planet, leading to desertification, pollution and deforestation? Or does violence play the biggest role?