OpinionLegal View

Dearth of food around

Food is the foremost essential for the livelihood along with clothe and shelter. Everyone around the globe is working so to provide these three for themselves. However, there are times when the availability of food gets restricted which make it difficult for people to nourish themselves. According to the Global Report on Food Crises 2020, over 13 crore people from 55 countries are in dire need of food, livelihood and nutrition assistance. The main reason for this lack in availability of these essential items is the conflict among nations, various ethnic groups, etc and the insecurity which follows the conflict. Nation fight among each other and the vulnerable section of the society including women and children are left with no food. Another factor is the constantly change in whether due to excessive interference of human in the environment. This excessive interference lead to shortage of food and other important factors through which life is available on earth. One more factor which is responsible for this crisis is the economic shocks. Due to wrong decisions, domestic blunders and geopolitical problems, countries fails to sustain themselves and unable to provide even the basic facilities to their citizens. There are situations where all these conditions come together to haunt a particular nation or area thus resulting in no food.

Affected people worldwide are mostly from Africa which is known for its extreme poverty post colonization. Over 7 crore population from 36 countries of Africa are most affected. Asia and Middle East comes after Africa where over 4 crore population is not having the food on their table. Other parts of the world include population of over 1.8 crore from America and 50 thousands from European nations. To understand the picture better, no part in the world is exempted from this drastic reality and it is actually on rise. In 2016, 10.8 crore population from 48 nations were in the list of the deprived population. In 2017, it rouse to 12.5 crore population from 51 nations. In 2018, the population affected was reduced to 11.3 crore however the number of countries affected rouse to 53. And last year in 2019, the population facing the acute shortage of food and other essential goods stand at a whopping 13.5 crore from 55 countries.

The countries which are worst hit are Yemen where around 1.6 crore population are affected while over 1.5 crore population of Democratic Republic of Congo, 1.13 crore population of Afghanistan, 93 lakh people from Venezuela and 80 lakh people from Ethiopia are not having food on their table. It is imperative to note that these five countries are located at different geographical locations and are so different from each other in every parameter. Viz Venezuela is facing the problem due to economic shocks while Afghanistan is facing it mainly due to conflict. Yet the problem is same. Over 7 crore people are unable to eat properly because there are someone fighting with another affecting population of atleast 22 nations. Over 4 crore population is affected in Middle East and Asia where nations and group’s are mostly fighting for oil and natural resources or the territory while 3.7 crore people are affected in Africa. Economic Shocks on the other hand is disturbing 2.4 crore people from over 8 countries where 1.4 crore people from Africa and 1 crore people from Africa are under extreme poverty and unable to get proper food.

Weather extremes is affecting 3.4 crore people from 25 countries. Out of which, 2.6 crore people are from Africa, 44 Lakh from Central America while 30 lakh from Middle East and Asia.

In any such problems, the most vulnerable section is the women and children as they’re generally not in position to defend themselves and face the wrath of the situation. In these 55 countries, over 7.5 crore children were stunted and their proper growth has been stopped while over 1.7 crore children are facing acute wasting. Along with the already existing factors, desert locusts and Covid-19 are the two extra factors creating more problems for the people worldwide. Desert locusts are species of locust, a periodically swarming, short-horned grasshopper in the family Acrididae. They are found mainly in Africa, through Arabia and West Asia, and extending into parts of South Asia. Desert locusts, which have a lifespan of 3-5 months, prefer to lay eggs in damp soil. When it has rained heavily, the locusts breed at a greater scale, laying as many as 1,000 eggs per sq m of soil. Once these hatch and eat the vegetation around, they migrate in search of more food. Swarms of locusts can eat their way through thousands of hectares of crops, causing food insecurity as each of the desert locusts can roughly eat it’s own weight and though their weight is less, but due to excessive breeding, they are dangerous for the already existing situation. Covid-19 is the another factor. A virus coming from Wuhan region of China has led to disruption of the population worldwide and have affected the working of the population worldwide. Most of the nations went through lockdown out of which, many of them are still not able to start functioning again. It’ll further affect the vulnerable and poor section of people around the globe. Hopefully, United Nations and countries unitedly could come up to a point to resolve this issue for the sake of humanity and future of this world.

Author: Adv. Shashank Shekhar Jha
Legal Editor, GoaChronicle.com

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