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Inequality tightens its grip on the most vulnerable issues – Global issues

Every year, 570 million tons of food are wasted at the household level. Global food waste accounts for 8-10% of greenhouse gas emissions. Credit: Claudia Ciobanu / IPS
  • by Baher Kamal (Madrid)
  • Joint press service

And please don’t pretend you don’t know that 20% of all humans – those living in the wealthiest countries – waste about 35% of the food they buy and throw in the trash.

Poverty, armed conflict and corruption are also blamed for food waste in poor countries – albeit in much less quantity – due to the lack of adequate stockpiling infrastructure.

In summary, every year, 570 million tons of food is wasted at the household level, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)’S Food Waste Index Report 2021 report.

This amount of wasted food is enough to feed millions of hungry people.

Furthermore, global food waste accounts for 8-10% of greenhouse gas emissions, UNEP warning.

Meanwhile, intensive agricultural industries dumped huge amounts of food on the lands and seas either because they were “bad” – and therefore not good enough to sell in the market – or to keep their prices at a low level. as profitable as possible.

The Three Planets Crisis

Food waste accelerates a three-planetary crisis in terms of climate change, loss of nature, biodiversity and pollution, according to the World Environment Agency.

Just take the case of a continent as large as Africa – 55 countries with 1.4 billion people – representing a negligible 2% to 3% global greenhouse gas emissionshowever, it falls victim to more than 80% of the world’s climate disasters.

All of the above, and countless other consequences, have a common name: inequality.

Inequality is not just a matter of morality: inequality kills one person… every four seconds.

From Billionaire to Billionaire Billionaire

Add to that the fact that as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the poor, The 10 richest people in the world have multiplied their wealth by trillions.

According to a new study from Oxfam International, IPS journalist, the 10 richest men in the world have doubled their wealth from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion – at a rate of 15,000 per second or 1, 3 billion USD per day. Thalif Deen report.

“These extraordinary changes in fortunes that took place during the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic saw the incomes of 99% of humanity drop and more than 160 million people forced into poverty — many 60 million more than the number announced by the World Bank in 2020”

Grasp

When this happens, conservative estimates indicate that 811 million people are extremely hungry, close to the abyss of starvation and death.

These millions live in the poorest parts of the world, regions with huge natural resources – soil, minerals indispensable for giant technologies, private corporations, fertile land. grasp by big business, etc – just don’t eat.

Play with fire

But there is more evidence that the most vulnerable are left behind after one of the worst health crises in decades: a COVID-19 vaccine.

See what World Health OrganizationLeader of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speak on May 4, 2022: the best way to save lives, protect health systems and reduce cases of “prolonged COVID” is to immunize at least 70% of the population of every country – and 100% of most all at-risk groups.

Despite the growing number of spearheads, a lack of political commitment, operational capacity issues, financial constraints, misinformation and misinformation, are limiting demand for vaccines, he added while warning that treatment with COVID is still often ‘out of reach’ for the poor.

Record profits for manufacturers

While “we are playing with the fire that continues to burn us”, he said that “manufacturers are posting record profits”.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized that “we cannot accept a price that makes life-saving treatments available to the rich and the poor inaccessible.”

Acute shortage of water and food

Back to the staggering effects of the climate crisis on those who caused it the least.

In East Africa alone, 25 million people are currently facing severe food and water shortages due to the climate crisis, as predicted by the scientific community a few months ago.

The driest conditions

East Africa, and in particular Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya, is experiencing the driest conditions and hottest temperatures since the start of satellite data recording, the World Environment Agency reports. .

“As a result, up to 13 million people are currently facing severe food and water shortages and 25 million are expected to face a similar fate by mid-2022.”

Scientists are blaming climate change for the current crisis in one of the world’s least resilient regions.

“The whole of Africa contributes about 2-3% of global emissions causes of global warming and climate change. “

“However, the continent has suffered the heaviest effects of the climate crisis, including increased heat waves, severe droughts and catastrophic cyclones, like those that have occurred with Mozambique. and Madagascar in recent years”.

Things will only get worse

Furthermore, scientists and experts predict that things will only get worse for Africa if current trends continue.

By 2022 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change“Key development sectors have experienced widespread loss and damage due to anthropogenic climate change, including biodiversity loss, water shortages, reduced food production, loss of damage to human lives and reduce economic growth.”

“The current drought that is hitting East Africa is particularly devastating for small-scale farmers and ranchers across the Horn that are already vulnerable to climate-related shocks.”

“Currently in the Horn of Africa, we are seeing vulnerable communities disproportionately affected by climate change,” said Susan Gardner, Director of the UNEP Ecosystems Division. who are less able to resist its effects”.

Starvation

In the case of an East African country: Somalia, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reports that the drought emergency has become so bad that the country is facing the risk of starvation.

And about 4.5 million people are affected, of which nearly 700,000 have had to leave their homes in search of water, food, pasture and livelihoods.

The United Nations aid website also Notification that:

• About 3.5 million people are in need of water supply assistance, including 1.4 million internally displaced people. Water transport is ongoing but not enough to meet the growing demand.

• Schools will be closed as children move with their families. At least 420,000 (45% girls) of the 1.4 million children whose education has been disrupted are at risk of dropping out of school because of the drought.

• At least 1.8 million people had access to various forms of support in February, but emergency calls escalated to scale up continuity of response and flexibility in reprogramming.

Unprecedented impact

Confirming these facts, International Organization for Migration (IOM) about it report that the Horn of Africa is suffering its worst drought in decades – arid landscapes, heightened food insecurity and widespread displacement.

An estimated 15 million people are severely affected by drought in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia – between 3.5 and 7 million people in each country, respectively.

The unprecedented impacts of multiple failed monsoons are threatening to create a humanitarian crisis in a region “already negatively impacted by cumulative shocks, including conflict and insecurity.” , extreme weather conditions, climate change, desert locusts, and the negative socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

You have now been reminded of some of the serious effects of inequality, even to varying degrees, in rich industrialized countries. Will you take them into account when electing politicians?

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

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