By John Ouko,
November 16th, 2017,
Up to 815 million people in the world wake up and go to bed without eating any food, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has announced.
According to a report tabled by the FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva at the just concluded United Nations Climate Change conference in Bonn, Germany, the number of undernourished people has increased in the recent past, affecting about 11% of the world’s population.
The report blamed the rise in the number of people going hungry every day particularly on prolonged droughts in the African continent as a result of climate change. FAO also blamed the rise on conflict and economic downturns. Estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that climate change might increase the risk of hunger and malnutrition by up to 20% by 2050.
The Director-General noted that the world should not be distracted by the challenges posed by climate change in its quest to achieve Zero Hunger in the world by 2030. “Agriculture is where the fight against hunger and climate change come together to unlock solutions.” He said.
Graziano da Silva further noted that Climate change mitigation and adaptation ought to be integrated into the entire food system from production to transportation, from processing to food consumption, and in both rural and urban areas. “It is not enough to only transform the way we produce food” he added.
He regretted that the world was not doing enough to deal with the immense threat of millions of people being put in a vicious cycle of food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty as a result of climate change. Noting that the Least Developed Countries (LDC) and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are particularly vulnerable to climate change, he stressed that there was a need to confront the harsh reality.
The United Nations Climate Change Conferences have held annually since 1995. Held within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the conferences serve as the formal meeting of the UNFCCC Parties, commonly referred to as The Conference of the Parties (COP).
They assess progress in dealing with climate change. COP1 was held in Berlin, Germany in1995. Incidentally, Africa which has born the brunt of the effects of climate change has only hosted the conferences four times since inception with Morocco hosting twice, South Africa once and Kenya once in 2006.
In June 2017, US President Donald Trump drew condemnation from across the world after he pulled his country from the April 2016 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The agreement sought to bring all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.
John Ouko holds a degree in Communications and media technology from Maseno University. He has served as a news reporter with the Royal Media and is currently a communications and Public Relations consultant in Kenya. He has interest in writing about the environment and its impact on mankind.