World

Food and People — Global Issues


Source: United Nations.
  • Idea by Joseph Chamie (portland, usa)
  • Joint press service

The world population of about 8,000,000,000, or more than double its size at the start of the Green Revolution in the mid-1960s, is once again facing a food crisis across many countries and regions. And the food crisis is expected to get even worse in the near term.

The food crisis in dozens of countries, mainly in Africa and Asia, is largely caused by three Cs: conflict, climate change and COVID-19. In addition, the recent conflict in Ukraine due to the military invasion of Russia has continued more serious food crisis.

Due to the conflict in Ukraine, more and more governments are building barriers stop exporting food products and other important commodities within their borders. These barriers are expected to exacerbate the food crisis with shortages and higher prices for many goods in many food-insecure countries.

Estimated today 800 million won people, or 10 percent of the world’s population, are hungry. Also, forecast shows that the world is not on track to end starvationachieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030 i.e. Sustainable Development Target 2.

Future growth in the world’s population, currently growing by about 80 million people per year, is expected to be concentrated in the regions where most of the countries are starved, food insecure and malnourished. .

Of the projected world population growth of nearly 600 million in the next 8 years, Africa, the majority is dependent food imports, accounting for 47% of that demographic growth, followed by Asia with 43% (Figure 1).

Future growth in the world's population, currently increasing by about 80 million people per year, is expected to be concentrated in the regions where most of the countries are hungry, food insecure and malnourished. . Source: United Nations.

Furthermore, percentages are expected to increase among the populations of the 16 food-insecure countries in Africa. countries with hotspots is one of the highest in the world and much higher than the global average. By 2030, many of the populations of these African countries are expected to grow by no less than 25%.

For example, the current population of Niger is expected to grow by 34% within the next 8 years, i.e. from 26 million to 35 million. In contrast, the projected 7 percent world population growth over those eight years is a fraction of the share of Africa’s food insecurity hotspot countries (Figure 2).

Future growth in the world's population, currently increasing by about 80 million people per year, is expected to be concentrated in the regions where most of the countries are hungry, food insecure and malnourished. . Source: United Nations.

The projected population growth of food-insecure countries by mid-century is even more remarkable. While the world’s population is projected to grow by around 20% by 2050, the populations of several food insecurity hotspot countries in Africa are expected to double by mid-century. this. One particularly rapid future demographic growth rate is the population of Niger, which is expected to grow from the current 26 million to 66 million by mid-century.

Another food insecurity hotspot country in Africa whose population is expected to double is the Democratic Republic of Congo, growing from 95 million today to 195 million by 2050. The African country with the largest population, Nigeria, is also forecast to grow significantly from the current 217 million to 401 million by 2050, thus making the United States the third largest population in the world. .

Outside of Africa, six additional Nation, which has been greatly affected by armed and violent conflicts, are also considered hot spots for food insecurity. Those countries are Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen in Asia and Haiti and Honduras in Latin America and the Caribbean.

After the Green Revolution in the late 1960s, global food production surpassed the rapid world population growth of the second half of the 20th century. The world population has more tripled since 1950, from 2.5 billion to 8 billion today.

Currently, about half The planet’s habitable land is currently being used for food production, estimated 70 percent fresh water consumption. That vital human activity has important consequences for the planet, including contributing to biodiversity loss, pollution, deforestation and land degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions.

A part of feedback Those consequences for the planet include a reduction in meat consumption and shift the world’s population to a more plant-based diet. In addition to the improvements to human health, eating mostly plant-based foods will contribute lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce animal waste.

In many parts of the world, especially in the food insecurity hotspots outlined above, Effect Climate change and environmental degradation are having a huge impact on food production, supply and distribution with droughts, floods, high temperatures, wildfires, desertification, pests and diseases, and sea levels. offer, etc.

In addition to the goal of increasing food supply and making healthy diets affordable and accessible population With low household purchasing power, greater efforts are needed to reduce food demand in general by stabilizing population size.

In addition to reducing high morbidity and mortality, governments need to work to reduce high birth rates. Accelerating demographic transitions in countries with high birth and death rates will significantly contribute to reducing the future size of such populations and thus the projected need for additional food. newspaper.

For example, Africa’s future population, which has increased six-fold since 1950, could be significantly less than currently projected if the continent’s demographic transition is accelerated. up. If the future fertility rates of African countries followed the United Nations low-case projections instead of the medium-case projections, Africa’s population would be reduced by 200 million by 2050 and by more than one billion by 2100 (Figure 3).

Future growth in the world's population, currently increasing by about 80 million people per year, is expected to be concentrated in the regions where most of the countries are hungry, food insecure and malnourished. . Source: United Nations.

Declining populations in Africa, Asia and elsewhere will certainly not solve the problems of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. Other major challenges need to be addressed, including conflict, climate change and COVID-19.

However, there is also a certainty that lower rates of demographic growth will lead to fewer people adding in the future. Such a demographic reduction will lead to a reduction in food demand in the future.

As stated at the outset, the relationship between food and people is obvious. Namely, people ask for food, with more people asking for more food and fewer people asking for less food.

Gone are the days when governments had to embrace the relationship between food and people. To do so requires governments to adopt comprehensive policies and implement effective programs to reduce high rates of population growth and stabilize their population sizes.

Joseph Chamie is a consulting demographer, former director of the United Nations Population Division and the author of numerous publications on population issues, including his book, “Birth, Death, Migration and Other Important Population Issues. “

© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service



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