Socialist Worker

Conflicts and climate change have caused a rise in hunger

Issue No. 2572

Children inside a displaced people’s camp in Nigeria

Children inside a displaced people’s camp in Nigeria (Pic: Unicef)


War and climate change are key factors behind a rise in worldwide hunger—the first in over a decade, according to a new United Nations (UN) report.

Malnutrition and food insecurity affected 815 million people around the world in 2016—up from 777 million the previous year.

That is around 11 percent of the total world population.

Many of the countries where people suffer the most from hunger have been affected by armed conflicts.

Conflict has grown into larger wars in countries such as Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan.

There, the situation spiraled into a famine for several months earlier this year.

The report casts doubt on the UN’s stated aim to eradicate hunger by 2030.

How war created famine
How war created famine
  Read More

This is theoretically achievable.

As the UN stressed when it announced the goal, the amount of food in the world is more than enough to feed the global population.

A rise in armed conflicts since 2005 has led to a growth in the worldwide refugee population.

In turn this led to to greater food insecurity for 64 million people.

The report also names the destruction of wheat and barley fields in Iraq, damage to infrastructure in Syria, and the loss of livestock and crops in South Sudan as effects of conflict which are linked to hunger.

Climate change has led to chronic hunger around the world as well. This is especially true in places impacted by drought and flooding.

The number of undernourished people is the highest in Asia—520 million—followed by Africa—243 million.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, about 42 million people do not get sufficient food to eat.

And of the 815 million undernourished people across the globe, 489 million people were found in conflict-affected areas.

Moreover, of the total 155 million stunted children in the world, 120 million children were from conflict regions.


Millionaires take note. A new street in London has been crowned Britain's most expensive.

Homes on Egerton Crescent in Kensington, west London, had an average sale price of £14.5 million over the past year. The previous most expensive

street was Albemarle Street in Mayfair, with an average sale price of £14.3 million.


Join protest at the cops’ use of anti-terror laws

Muhammad Rabbani, the international director of campaign group Cage, faces an important court case next Monday, 25 September.

He has been charged under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act. The charge says that, “on November 20 2016, at Heathrow airport, he did wilfully obstruct, or sought to frustrate, an examination or search”.

Muhammad is pleading not guilty. He refused to hand over to police the pass codes to his mobile phone.

A spokesman for Cage, Ibrahim Mohamoud, said, “Rabbani has taken a principled stance to protect the right to privacy in an ongoing case of torture that implicates high-ranking officials.”

According to government statistics at least 500,000 people have been stopped under schedule 7, and nearly 90 percent of the detentions are for “non-whites”. Some 99.98 percent of those stopped were never charged with an offence.

Protest Monday 25 September, 12 noon-1pm, Westminster Magistrates’ Court, 181 Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5BR

Gross misconduct in Rashan Charles case?

The Metropolitan police officer who restrained Rashan Charles is being investigated for gross misconduct, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) confirmed last week.

The cops’ pet watchdog has also recommended that the officer be suspended, according to the Observer newspaper.

Rashan died after being tackled to the ground by a cop in Hackney, east London, in July.

The IPCC said the officer “may have breached the police standards of professional behaviour”.

But it added that the investigation “does not necessarily mean misconduct proceedings will follow”.

Some 170 black and minority ethnic people have died following contact with the cops since 1990, according to the Inquest campaign group.

Yet no officer has ever been successfully prosecuted over a death.


Up to 580,000 workers could be paid less than the legal wage rates, with women in part-time jobs the biggest losers.

A study by the Low Pay Commission found that as many as one in five low?paid workers are receiving less than they are entitled to.


Miliband’s gift to the nation

Ed Miliband’s greatest and perhaps only achievement is the £12.5 billion smart meter programme.

In 2009 the former climate change secretary ordered Britain’s energy giants to rip out the existing meters.

The meters send data to energy suppliers so there is no need to send somebody to read the meter and you can’t underestimate your bill.

It is so behind schedule that, to hit the target of national coverage by 2020, 40,000 meters would have to be installed per day.


Murderers on on the march

HUNDREDS of ex-soldiers marched in Westminster last week.

They were backing Dennis Hutchings. He is due to stand trial on charges linked to the shooting of John Pat Cunningham, a 27 year old with learning difficulties, in 1974.

John Pat Cunningham was shot while running away from a British Army patrol because he had a fear of men in uniform.

The regimental log of the Life Guard Regiment described John Pat as the “village idiot”.

The soldiers’ march was met with a silent counter- demonstration.

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